Birmingham Citadel was “packed to the rafters” once more for the annual “Proms Night” by Birmingham Citadel Band. The large, expectant audience were treated to a all of the typical Proms music in the second half and, as has become tradition, the band themed the first half of the programme. This year the theme was “Pop Music” and the band certainly seemed at home playing this unfamiliar repertoire for a Salvation Army Band.
The evening started with Leigh Baker’s fantastic arrangement of the Lionel Richie song “All Night Long”. As the curtains opened it revealed the band in a unconventional formation playing, well, unconventional instruments! The Euphoniums and Baritones found themselves playing American Marching Baritones and the Horns playing Mellophoniums. The Trombones joined in with the fun by playing bright red plastic instruments (known as “P-Bones”) and the Solo Cornets played Trumpets - it gave quite a sound!!
Bandmaster Lamplough then took the audience on a journey through the 20th century as we heard popular melodies spanning 6 decades from the 1950’s. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Beatles and Tom Jones were all heard before we moved to the 1970’s with ABBA and the Jacksons. Queen and Elton John were among the artists who represented the 1980’s before we heard the music of Bryan Adams, amongst others, who topped the charts in the 1990’s for 14 weeks with “Everything I Do”. It was this piece that proved to be an unexpected spiritual moment amidst the light hearted repertoire on show. Andrew Blyth (Assistant Territorial Music Director) was compere for the evening and prepared the audience by way of a bible message to consider whilst the band accompanied Sue Blyth (Gainsborough) in the Bryan Adams hit. To accompany the music powerful images of Christ’s crucifixion appeared on the screen which seemed to marry perfectly to the words “Everything I Do, I do it for you”.
A “Pop Medley” ended the first half and it included music from the last 65 years - everything from Bill Haley to the Spice Girls!
The second half had a more traditional feel to it. The band donned their tuxedos and evening attire and the audience certainly entered into the spirit of things, waving flags and singing with great gusto! The hall, bursting at the seams, was awash with the colour of our Union Jack and some even went one step further!!
Many classic British “anthems” were on offer with offerings from our finest British composers including Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst and Sir Henry Wood. It really was a fabulous night and BCB were left in no doubt that the audience wanted to see a repeat next year. The tradition continues - next stop “BCB Proms 2013”!
Photographs: Pam Daff
All Night Long (Lionel Richie; arr. Baker)
Love in the 50’s (arr. Wes Kendrick)
Ticket to Ride (The Beatles; arr. Fernie)
Tenor Horn Solo: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (Scott; arr. Crookes) – Neil Blessett
ABBA (Anderson/Ulvaeus; arr. Broadbent)
Sue Blyth: Now I Belong to Jesus (Bill Broughton)
Everything I Do (Bryan Adams; arr. Bernaerts) with Sue Blyth
Trombone Feature: It’s Not Unusual (Tom Jones; arr. Lawrence)
Pop Medley (arr. Gavin Lamplough)
RAF March Past (Dr. Walford Davies)
I Vow to Thee my Country (Gustav Holst; arr. RSA)
Sue Blyth: On My Own (Schoenberg)
Fantasia on British Sea Songs (Henry Wood)
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (Edward Elgar)
Rule Britannia (Thomas Arne) with Sue Blyth
Jerusalem (C. Hubert Parry)
Under Two Flags (Bramwell Coles)