Almost 12 months to the day, Birmingham Citadel Band returned to Tamworth to play at Coton Green Church. The band enjoyed a concert in the same church on October 14th 2009 in the modern and purpose built Evangelical Church and were delighted to return for their 2010 season.
The band opened the festival with a march which will be featured on their new CD. The march “Motondo” (D. Osgood) was written in tribute to Salvationists from Africa and uses the melody "Travel along in the sunshine" and the band followed this with Ken Downie’s “Stars in the Morning”. This beautiful music with its strong “Downie fingerprint” was received in much the same way as most of his devotional music - absolute silence as the audience reflected on the message they’d just heard within the music. After some introductions the band played what was the “major work” of the evening. Steven Ponsford’s “Kerygma” has become a favourite of the bands and it was evident from the audience reaction that they too enjoyed this music.
The trombones were featured in the ever popular “I will follow Him” before Deputy Bandmaster Mark Sharman took the baton to lead the band in Andrew Blyth’s arrangement of a song made famous by Sandi Patti; “Shine Down”.
After Band Sergeant Ian Kershaw shared some thoughts on God’s provision, the band gave a beautiful reading of Ivor Bosanko’s “His Provision”. From the rubato playing of the Euphonium and Horn opening statements to the florid central solos for Cornet (Gavin Lamplough) and Euphonium (David Taylor), the bands playing was expressive and enchanting whilst always maintaining a beautiful sound. The band ended the first half with Len Ballentine’s Great Lake’s Mission featuring the melody “He is the Lord and He reigns on high”.
Following the interval the band played Paul Sharman’s “Power of the Cross” before the fun started in the comic item “The Bare Necessities”. Soloist Edward Dixon played both musical and comedic roles perfectly as always but the band seem to finding new “tricks” to bring to this piece every time it is featured. As the basses rose to play their “feature”, the back row cornets playing their percussion instruments and Gavin Lamplough the cornet solo, Soprano Cornet Daniel Robson seized the opportunity to, in the absence of the Bandmaster who was “consoling” our tuba soloist, take up the baton! He surely must have enjoyed the experience as he refused to step aside for the Bandmaster to “retake the reigns” for the rest of the piece causing much hilarity for the band and audience alike!
Bandmaster Graham Lamplough always brings something different to BCB programmes and, following on from Music from the Movies in recent programmes, his latest theme is “a journey through the seasons”. The band featured music from the seasons of both the Christian and secular calendar. Starting with Christmas the band featured Ken Downie’s “Bleak Mid-Winter” before turning to Spring with Robert Schramm’s “Children’s Song” featuring the alternative melody to “All things bright and beautiful”. This was followed by our final soloist for the evening. Principal Euphonium David Taylor’s beautifully light upper-register sound soared around the church in “Summertime” before the band changed the mood with the march “Harvest Celebration”. Completing the “calendar” was Autumn Leaves and returning to Christmas “Three Kings Swing”.
As Bandmaster Lamplough thanked the audience for the way in which they had welcomed the band and responded to it’s ministry the bandsmen and women surrounded the audience to play Stephen Bradnum’s “Irish Blessing”. As we played to the audience and looked into their faces it became clear what a powerful evening we had shared.
Photographs: David Newstead
Motondo (D. Osgood)
Stars of the Morning (K. Downie)
Kerygma (S. Ponsford)
Trombone Feature: I will follow Him (G. Richards)
Shine Down (A. Blyth)
Thought: Band Sgt. Ian Kershaw
His Provision (I. Bosanko)
Great Lakes Mission (L. Ballentine)
Power of the Cross (P. Sharman)
Tuba Solo: The Bare Necessities (L. Baker) - Edward Dixon
Journey through the Seasons:
Bleak Mid-Winter (K. Downie)
Children’s Song (R. Schramm)
Euphonium Solo: Summertime (A. Fernie) - David Taylor
Harvest Celebration (N. Jones)
Autumn Leaves (E. Banks)
Three Kings Swing (W. Himes)
An Irish Blessing (S. Bradnum)