BCB was delighted to return to the magnificent auditorium which is Symphony Hall in Birmingham for the annual Christmas Concert with the Salvation Army. The concert featured a host of musicians from the Birmingham Citadel Corps (Church) in a varied programme which was well received by a large crowd. It was the largest crowds we had welcomed to Symphony Hall for some years with near capacity crowds over the two performances. We were also delighted to be joined by children our own Junior Band and Singing Company (Junior Choir) who were both in fine form as well as over 200 young voices from Sandwell and Solihull Music Services. This certainly gave an extra lift to our massed Overture and Finale!
The band featured SA Christmas Classics including Trevor Davis’ “Carolcade” and Peter Graham’s evergreen “The Shining Star”. The band were also pleased to feature two brand new works. Our Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough was invited to compose a Finale to the concert once again which this year featured the christmas carol “Sweet Chiming Bells” (“Born to Set Thy People Free”) but the band’s major work for the concert was a brand new work by Steven Ponsford. Steve is making a wonderful reputation for himself as a prolific composer and frequently writes for the ISB and other top Salvation Army Bands. It is therefore appropriate that he should write “Excelsis” for Birmingham Citadel Band and the band was delighted to premiere this brand new work. It was certainly well received by the audience and the prolonged applause in both performances certainly confirmed this!
We even had the “pleasure” of three BCB bandsmen heralding a fanfare on early trumpets - quite a sight and quite a sound!!
The band also featured a soloist in Bass Trombonist Matthew Mynott - quite a setting for your first solo with the band! Matthew did a great job of the light-hearted “Frosty the Snowman” and even included some choreography with the young timbrelists who joined him on stage!
The band finished with another Peter Graham march: the scintillating “The Wonder of Christmas”. It was another wonderful occasion and we hope that the real “reason for the season” was very clear in our presentation.
Photos: Graham Daff, Pam Daff and Robert Stokes.
Birmingham Citadel Band play Steven Ponsford’s “Excelsis!” live at Symphony Hall