Salvation Army band renamed for Eurovision contest

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Salvation Army band chosen to represent Switzerland at this year’s Eurovision song contest in Sweden has adopted a new name, Takasa, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SSR, announced Thursday 14 March.

The group, which will also swap their iconic uniforms for white shirts and black trousers, selected a new name to distance itself from the Christian organization for the event. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), responsible for organizing the annual contest, had banned the group from participating under the name of the Salvation Army and dressed in their military-like uniforms.  The EBU forbids participants from disseminating political or commercial messages.

The new name, Takasa, meaning clean or purified in Swahili, “Sounds mysterious and embodies vitality, while keeping a meaning close to our spirituality”, according to a statement issued by the SSR.

The group is made up of six Bernese aged between 20 and 95 years, and will perform “You and Me” in Malmo, in May.