Following the commissioning of Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough the Birmingham Citadel Corps have been waiting for the opportunity to celebrate the service of Bandmaster Graham W. Lamplough. Bandmaster GW Lamplough’s ill health prevented the service from being held on the same day as the commissioning of his son, Gavin, as Bandmaster, and so the Birmingham Citadel Band was grateful to the Bristol Easton SA Band, the visiting band for the weekend, for supporting this special ceremony. The two standing ovations that were afforded him on this special occasion were testament to the appreciation and admiration that people have for him and his service.
Bandmaster Lamplough’s recent health concerns brought a hugely successful period as Bandmaster of the Birmingham Citadel Band to a premature end in May 2011, and ended a 26 year incumbency spanning five decades. Since being commissioned as Bandmaster in the 1970‘s at the Chesterton Corps in Stoke-on-Trent, BM Lamplough has become renowned for his band training and creative programming. Whether it be with the Band at the West Midlands (Birmingham) Divisional Music School Band for over 10 years in the 1980’s/90’s, the West Midlands Divisional Youth Band in the 1990’s or, more recently, the Birmingham Citadel Band, BM Lamplough has always endeavoured to promote the relevance of the Brass Band in today’s society and to this end he has looked to balance the traditions and heritage of Salvation Army Brass Banding he so loves with new innovations which will reach out and touch the lives of “new” audiences. For those under his direction his intellectual musicianship and strong Christian example is always an inspiration. The legacy he leaves with hundreds of bandsmen is one which will benefit Salvation Army Brass Bands for generations and his wit will certainly be missed by Birmingham Citadel Band as he retires. It has been said on many occasions that it is hoped that someone is making a book of his sayings and “faux pas” - it would certainly be a good read!
Recent highlights with Birmingham Citadel Band have included two CD’s (Spirit of Joy and Seasons in Splendour), twice-annual performances at Birmingham’s magnificent Symphony Hall, away weekends, numerous evening Festivals, the conception of this Website and, of course, he masterminded the Tour to Canada at Easter 2011 which, due to ill health, he was unable to be part of. But this did not halt his drive and determination to prepare the band fully and even wave the coach off as it departed Birmingham on the 15th April 2011. This was perhaps his greatest asset - selflessness. So many times he preached “the sum is greater than its parts” and this was never better displayed than in the months leading up to the tour. A lesser man would have lost interest due the overwhelming frustration of not being able to tour with the Band, but not BM Lamplough. He loves Salvation Army Banding, he loves Birmingham Citadel Band and he epitomises the Band’s motto: “the best is yet to be”. He has always strived for greater things and this example has proved imperative in the continued evolution of BCB.
Bandmaster Graham W. Lamplough we applaud you and your service to Salvation Army banding and we salute you as you retire to the rank of Bandmaster.