The band made the trip to Luton for the first time to play a concert in the modern suite of buildings at the Salvation Army. For once the motorway was “kind” and so the band arrive ahead of schedule to set up and enjoy a lovely buffet before the concert began.
It was great to see friends of the band from the London area and it was particularly pleasing to see several colleagues from the Salvation Army’s International Staff Band.
Birmingham Citadel Band has strong links with Luton SA as one of our euphonium players, Craig Hughes, came to Birmingham from Luton and his family attend the Luton SA as their church. This was referred to in the welcomes. The band was in fine form and the audience warmly welcomed them following the opening number; “Praise Him!” by Stephen Bulla.
The soloists played wonderfully, as always, with a particularly authentic approach from Deputy Bandmaster Mark Sharman in the latin arrangement of “Blessed Assurance” which had all of the charm and character associated with that genre. Neil Blessett’s tone was as pure as ever in Paul Sharman’s “You Love Me” which rung around the hall effortlessly and David Taylor wowed the audience with his showpiece “Air n Variations”. Edward Dixon brought some lighthearted humour with a particularly “flippant” rendition of “The Bare Necessities”!
The major work for the evening was Edward Gregson’s newly extended version of “Laudate Dominum”. For some this has long been a favourite and for some Salvationists the new version is still a little ‘unfamiliar’ and difficult to access. But from a purely musical aspect the new movements certainly add colour and interest to an already much loved piece and have added new life.
1.Praise Him! (Stephen Bulla)
2.Horn Solo: You Love Me (Paul Sharman) – Soloist: Neil Blessett
3.Skydance (Martin Cordner)
4.Trombone Solo: Blessed Assurance (Bill Himes) Soloist: Mark Sharman
5.Vox Dilecti (Downie)
6.Variations on Laudate Dominum (Edward Gregson)
7.Praising (Erik Silfverberg)
9.Euphonium Solo: Air n Variations (Stephen Bulla) Soloist: David Taylor
10.Tuba Solo: The Bare Necessities (Leigh Baker) Soloist: Edward Dixon
11.Faith is the Victory (Sam Creamer)
12.Everlasting Hope (Paul Sharman)
13.Let Everything Praise (Martin Cordner)
14.The Liberator (George Marshall)