Once again Birmingham Citadel Band commenced the new season with an appearance at the British Open Band Contest held at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. The early morning programme of music given before the concert starts is always much anticipated by the band but is always a “shock to the system” so soon after the summer break!
The band was very well received once again, with many commenting that there appeared to be even more people gathered to listen - the audience were packed into the foyer for the majority of the concert. The band started with Andrew Blyth’s beautiful arrangement of the song “This is my Father’s world” before launching into the traditional march “Rosehill”. The band featured three soloists in Mark Sharman (Trombone), Neil Blessett (Tenor Horn) and David Taylor (Euphonium) and all three bandsmen acquitted themselves very well, particularly given the early hour they were expected to play before such a knowledgeable audience.
Particular highlights were the sensitive playing of “Soli Deo Gloria” and Wilf Heaton’s “Victory for Me” which were very well received as was the playing of “The Kingdom Triumphant” which somehow managed to hush the expectant crowd - quite a feat!
The band finished with something new for the brass band aficionados - “Amazed!” (Paul Sharman) - which was very well received and sent the listeners into the contest wearing a smile and with a spring in their step. An extraordinary number of positive comments were received following the concert making it clear why this event is so worthwhile for BCB and for the wider Salvation Army Brass Band movement.
The following Sunday is traditionally dubbed “Band Sunday” at Birmingham Citadel and BCB take responsibility for leading worship. The morning service featured a number of pieces from the band including “Peace” by Kenneth Downie. It was particularly pleasing to see the composer present in the meeting to hear his music. The thought was presented by Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough and was centred around “One life to live, may I live for Christ”.
My Father’s World (Andrew Blyth)
Rosehill (Albert Jakeway)
Trombone Solo: Somebody Prayed (Peter Van der Horden) – Mark Sharman
Ask! (Peter Graham)
Soli Deo Gloria (William Himes)
Victory for Me! (Wilf Heaton)
Tenor Horn Solo: Green Hill (Norman Bearcroft) – Neil Blessett
Euphonium Solo: Harlequin (Philip Sparke) – David Taylor
The Kingdom Triumphant (Eric Ball)
Amazed! (Paul Sharman)