Birmingham Citadel Band made their first visit to Sale and after a welcome tea, they played to a full hall of over 200 people. The festival offered a varied programme which boasted major works such as Eric Ball’s “Resurgam” and Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s “Fire in the Blood”.
The audience were taken through many genres right from the start of the programme from the spirited opener “Laudes Domini” to Darren Shaw’s “Guardian of My Soul”, which brought a time of reflection. This was aided by the well-crafted multimedia presentation that helped many of the crowd relate to the music as the words were focused upon.
Sheffield born Wilf Heaton’s “Golden Pen” set the scene for two of the evening’s soloists. Neil Blessett played the horn solo “A time for peace” (Graham) which was an alternative lyrical piece from his solo repertoire. The second solo was played by Mark Sharman with “Somebody prayed for me” which is known by many as a songster arrangement. However the piece written by Van Der Horden offered the setting in both the major and minor key, not previously heard in the original song.
“Lift up your Voice” and “Resurgam” proceeded the soloists and were received appropriately with a stunning silence following Eric Balls’ art work . The interval was between a ‘Larsson Sandwich’; firstly, “They shall come from the east” which inspired the Sale songster brigade to rediscover this song as part of their worship. The audience were brought back to their seats with the toe-tapping “Fill the world with glory”.
The congregation were transported to Scotland as Deputy Bandmaster Mark Sharman led the band in “Celtic Impressions” by Darrol Barry which featured a technical encounter for the cornet section led by principal Nicola Redhead.
David Taylor’s debut performance of Peter Graham’s “Euphony” was executed in a typically nonchalant manner that was packed with technical accuracy and an impressive high finish.
The final soloist of the evening was Edward Dixon with the “Bare Necessities” arranged by former Brighouse and Rastrick baritone player, Leigh Baker. The solo was as comical as usual. However, there was a little more ‘bared’ than anticipated as Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough was in need of trouser repair following this item.
The programme was brought to a close with a meditative “Written in Red” which set the mood for the thought given by Band Sergeant Ian Kershaw. “Fire in the Blood” left the audience filled with the spirit as they left the hall. The build up towards the end was a ‘shiver down the spine’ moment which was a just ending to an evening of fine music.
The band returned home after their signature performance of the “Liberator” by George Marshall.