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BCB enjoyed an afternoon concert at a shopping centre.  Many people gathered to hear the Band’s music which featured soloists Nicola Redhead (cornet) and Edward Dixon (Eb Bass).  Other music featured included swing numbers like “Morning Star”, reflective music such as “Love Changes Everything” and marches featuring “The Pioneers”.


Saturday 10th June 2017
John Sharman writes...


A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered in the lovely S.A Hall at Peterborough Citadel to hear Birmingham Citadel Band’s Concert.


From the opening Intrada: ‘Bless the Lord’ by Phil Rayment, right through to Erik Leidzen’s ‘On the King’s Highway’, the band proved to be in fine form. They presented a programme that had something for everyone which entertained, blessed and encouraged.


When I was an SA Bandmaster many years ago, I was regularly admonished by my long departed mother for not having enough marches in my band programmes. Well mum, you would not have been disappointed last Saturday. In addition to the aforementioned traditional Leidzen march, we had a less traditional march by Bruce Broughton,’ Hillcrest’ and ‘On we March’ by Kevin Larsson, with its many references to Hollywood in its scintillating style.


Wilf Heaton’s ‘Glory Glory’, whilst a sort of march, featured the dissonance and clashes associated with the army band coming up against the bugle bands in years gone by. I’m not sure what Mum would have made of that!!


All three soloists for the evening did an excellent job: - Neil Blessett on tenor horn with ‘King of Kings’, written by our Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough. Mark Sharman (trombone) with ‘Fiesta’ by Peter Graham, and lastly, but by no means least, the exquisite sound and technique of David Taylor’s euphonium in Keith Wilkinson’s arrangement of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.


Classical musical taste was catered for with Michael Kenyon’s superb arrangement of Mozart’s Overture to ‘The Magic Flute’. 


‘Escape Velocity’ by Martin Cordner and Kenneth Downie’s ‘Majesty’ were the two more ‘heavyweight’ pieces of the evening, giving the band the chance to show their technical skills, whilst more light hearted fare was provided by Markus Frei with ‘007 Light’. This features the tune ‘This Little Light of Mine’ interspersed with several tongue in cheek references to music from the James Bond films. This was preceded by the playing of the title track from the band’s latest CD, ‘High over All’, a cleverly put together samba number by Australian Sam Creamer.


There was also much reflective food for thought throughout the evening. Talitha Devey linked her testimony to the words associated with Geoffrey Nobes ‘ Lavenham’, whilst Major Adrian Allman spoke challengingly before the band played ‘Majesty’.


Paul Sharman wrote ‘Everlasting Hope’ at the request of Gavin, in memory of his father, Graham, a previous Bandmaster of BCB. It reflects Graham’s testimony towards the end of his life when he found comfort in the words ‘Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow’. Fitting indeed that we took these words with us as we left the hall that night, ready to continue with our service in Peterborough the following day.


Sunday 11th June 2017 
Martyn Pearce writes...


It was a real delight to see an almost full to capacity congregation for our first meeting of the day. BCB introduced us to our worship time with Len Ballantine's setting of ' I know thou art mine'.


The people of Peterborough were in good voice for our opening song. This was followed by a very powerful rendition by our Deputy Bandmaster of the trombone solo, 'The power of your love’, written by Paul Drury. The female members of the band were now taking centre stage with Karen Farmer, opening in prayer, Nicola Redhead with the Children’s story and this was followed by an inspiring and indeed challenging word of testimony from Rebekka Dickinson.


It was good to have the home sections in support and we heard from the Singing Company, Y.P. Band as well as the Songsters.


BCB presented Erik Leidzen's classic 'The Good Shepherd' and the message prepared by our own CO, Adrian, was based around this composition.  We heard very clearly that sometimes that Shepherd takes us to places we may not always want to go in the work we do for him. 

The meeting concluded with a very clear declaration that wherever we find ourselves, we go in the strength of the Lord!


Matthew Frost writes...


On Sunday 11th June 2017 at 1602 hours Birmingham Citadel Band reported for duty on the platform of Peterborough Citadel Salvation Army; the final segment of a busy weekend on the cusp of the East Midlands/East Anglian Border. Mission, Music and Ministry. A strike of the beater on the timpani started off the concert opener ‘Make His Praise Glorious’ before, in stark contrast, the band followed up with the beautiful music of ‘Colne’.  The following prayer reflected upon the words of the first verse:


“‘Mid all the traffic of the ways,

Turmoils without, within,

Make in my heart a quiet place,

And come and dwell therein.”


Once again, in true salvation army banding style, the mood was flipped, like a delicious pancake! The band turned to the music of Paul Sharman, a former member of the band, with his work “My God and King”. Following this was a cornet trio, Bruce Broughton’s “The Victors”, and the soloists were Matthew Frost, Thomas Carr and Harry Browning; all of whom are students at the Birmingham Conservatoire.  The band’s next item featured Andrew Dickinson, who performed Kenneth Downie’s set of virtuosic variations on the traditional Scottish folk tune, “The Piper O Dundee”.  Rumour had circulated in the bandroom beforehand that Andrew had sourced a Kilt to perform in, however this was not to be, as SP&S did not have any of his size in stock. The band and congregation were then able to enjoy the ministry of Peterborough Citadel Songsters. 


After our brief excursion to Scotland, the band then travelled to Ireland with the famous music from “Riverdance”. You may be wondering there the Welsh connection was, well, don’t fret as our resident ‘Welsh Boyo’ Harry Browning uncovered his dulcet Welsh tones in the Bible Reading for the evening.  


Next, funk was the name of the game, as the band presented “Hold That Fort”, an arrangement by young Australian Salvationist Sam Creamer, which was brought to life by and featured the bands resident rhythm section (or ‘crash bang wallop corner’ as they are sometimes referred to) of Rob Hayward, Tim Farmer and Callum White. 


Home Boy, Neil Blessett donned his blue Peterborough Utd FC, and gave his testimony; a special occasion for him, I’m sure, to be talking to family and friends whom he grew up with.  Before Major Adrian Allman brought to us his thoughts for the evening, the band played Robert Redhead’s ‘How Charming is thy name’. 


After the message the band turned to their final piece for the evening in Martin Cordner’s ‘The Adventures’.  The lively western tones combined with the go-getter attitude of the music seemed a fitting end to the weekend in Peterborough, sending a message out to the congregation and band, that in our Adventure of life, God is always with us, no matter what! 


Of course no Salvation Army Brass Band concert would be complete without a classic march, in true BCB style George Marshal’s iconic ‘The Liberator’ thoroughly finished off the evening, and the great weekend. 



Words: John Sharman, Martyn Pearce and Matthew Frost

Pictures: David Craik & Michael Gibbs

Saturday Afternoon Concert

Saturday Evening Highlights

Moments from Sunday Morning

Highlights of Sunday Afternoon

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