A busy month was brought to an end with our annual Gala concert. This was held for the first time at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, Edgbaston. It was a beautiful hall with mellow acoustics and for those of us in the audience, very comfortable seats. The staff were extremely welcoming and looked after us very well.
The band’s guest soloist this year was David Daws on Euphonium and our own Alwyn Green ably led us through the evening. The music was interspersed by stories of early Salvation Army banding by Alwyn and enhanced by his personal testimony.
The band opened the programme with the rousing Intrada: Bless the Lord (Phil Rayment) before the band almost immediately altered the atmosphere with the prayerful classic Colne (Thomas Rive). A classical interlude followed with the playing of Michael Kenyon’s arrangement of The Magic Flute Overture.
Our first introduction to David Daws was listening to the old army favourite, The Better World (Norman Bearcroft), leaving the audience anticipating his remaining contributions to the evening.
Undefeated! (Paul Sharman) is a new addition to the repertoire specially written for Birmingham Citadel Band on the occasion of the corps 125th anniversary. David Daws then held the audience enchanted with a beautiful rendition of Peter Graham’s Doyle’s Lament.
Finally for the first half, the band and listeners were challenged by Wilfred Heaton’s Glory Glory!. A very different and descriptive piece of music was enhanced by an excellent multi media presentation telling the story of early day SA banding.
Earlier in the day David Daws and Gavin Lamplough had held a youth workshop where young brass players from around the area had the opportunity to benefit from the experience of two excellent trainers. We were treated to the results of this training as the youth ensemble played Blaze (Paul Sharman) and Kevin Larsson’s tango, Where I love to be.
Birmingham Citadel Band then returned to the stage and presented the first of two Martin Cordner pieces Escape Velocity. Then David Daws returned and showed his true virtuosity with his playing of Philip Sparke’s Harlequin, a composition in two parts. The 1st movement was slow followed by a frenetic 2nd movement. This was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
The music of Sam Creamer is becoming an increasing part of SA band repertoire, and High Over All showed why. The final contribution from David Daws was a testimony in music and his seemingly effortless playing of Precious Jesus (Robert Redhead) left the listeners spellbound and
set the scene for the corps officer Major Adrian Allman, who spoke about the adventure of living with God.
The second Martin Cordner piece of the evening The Adventurers brought a fine and enjoyable evening to a close, with the audience having experienced a varied and interesting programme with fine musicianship backed up with the message, which all Salvation Army banding have for years brought to their audiences.
No SA brass band programme would be complete without a traditional march and BCB played out with the rousing On the Kings Highway (Eric Leidzen) to send us all home on a high.
With Special Guests
David Daws (Euphonium)
Alwyn Green (Compere)
1.Intrada: Bless the Lord (Phil Rayment)
2.Colne (Thomas Rive)
3.Magic Flute Overture (Mozart; arr. Kenyon)
4.Euphonium Solo: The Better World (Norman Bearcroft) Soloist: David Daws
5.Undefeated! (Paul Sharman)
6.Euphonium Solo: Doyle’s Lament (Peter Graham) Soloist: David Daws
7.Glory, Glory! (Wilfred Heaton)
8.Youth Brass - Blaze (Sharman) & Tango: Where I Love to Be (Larsson)
9.Escape Velocity (Martin Cordner)
10.Euphonium Solo: Harlequin (Philip Sparke) Soloist: David Daws
11.High Over All (Sam Creamer)
12.Euphonium Solo: Precious Jesus (Robert Redhead) Soloist: David Daws
THOUGHT - Major Adrian Allman
13.The Adventurers (Martin Cordner)
14.On the King’s Highway (Erik Leidzen)
Words: Carole Richardson
Photos: Graham Daff and Lucy Lamplough