Saturday 10th April 2010
There was an air of eager anticipation as the band boarded the coach for the relatively short trip to Sheffield where we were to help celebrate Sheffield Citadel’s Band Weekend.
A packed hall was a welcome sight as the band, with cornets and trombones strategic placed around the hall, opened their Saturday Evening Festival with Martin Cordner’s exciting ‘Fanfare and Flourishes’. Andrew Mackereth’s ‘Fall Afresh’ followed this with a complete change of mood.
After the prayer and introductions the band launched enthusiastically into the title track from their latest CD recording, ‘Spirit of Joy’ by Herbert Rive.
Next came a period of banding nostalgia with Erik Leidzen’s ‘Tucker’ being superbly played by Principal cornet player Gavin Lamplough, followed by Eric Ball’s ageless ‘Songs of the Morning’ and Grieg’s ‘The Last Spring’ (arranged by Ray Steadman-Allen).
Paul Sharman’s ‘Psalm of Thanks’, specially written for the bands’ 115th reunion celebrations in 2008 (another piece from our CD) and Martin Cordner’s quirky ‘Round-up’ brought the first half of the concert to a close.
The audience, and most of the band, were still making their way back to the seats when Kevin Norbury’s ‘Hallelujah Parade’ started up. Fortunately the band made it back to their places before they actually needed to play!
‘ Who is on the Lord’s Side?’ was the question asked in our congregational song before David Taylor brought to us an excellent rendition of Norman Bearcroft’s Euphonium Solo, ‘The Better World’.
After this we were taken to the cinema for the next few items: - the first, featuring the trombone section, ‘I Will Follow Him’ from ‘Sister Act’, followed by Neil Blessett (tenor horn) with a beautiful interpretation of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and Edward Dixon (Eb Bass) with ‘The Bare Necessities’ from ‘The Jungle Book’, which he negotiated very well despite frequent choreographed interruptions and comical “hijack attempts” from the rest of the band.
In between these last two solos was a moving version of ‘The Crimson Tide’ film music, featuring the hymn tune ‘Melita’, with which we associate the words ‘Eternal Father strong to save’.
Dean Jones’s beautiful arrangement of ‘Written in Red’ preceded some well-chosen thoughts from the scriptures from Paul Meredith before the band formed a Male Voice Choir to sing ‘Were You There?’.
Continuing the Easter Theme the band’s final item, and undoubtedly the Major work of the evening was ‘Kerygma’ ( a Greek word, adopted by the early Christian church, meaning ‘the word of God proclaimed’)by Stephen Ponsford. This is a piece that tells aspects of the Easter story through the use of some of the more modern worship songs. Though this was a stern test (particularly at this stage of the proceedings) the band acquitted itself well and the significance of the message within the music was not lost on the perceptive audience.
Stephen Bradnum’s wonderful arrangement of ‘An Irish Blessing’ served as a Benediction and the audience went away looking forward to more of the same on the morrow.
“Fanfare and flourishes” (Martin Cordner)
“Fall Afresh” (Andrew Mackereth)
Prayer - Ian Kershaw
March: “Spirit of Joy” (Herbert Rive)
Cornet Solo: “Tucker” (Erik Leidzen)
Soloist: Gavin Lamplough
Suite: “Songs of the Morning” (Eric Ball )
Elegiac Melody:“The Last Spring” (Grieg arr. Steadman-Allen)
“Psalm of Thanks” (Paul Sharman)
“Round-up” (Martin Cordner)
“Hallelujah Parade” (Kevin Norbury)
Cong. Song “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
Euphonium Solo: “The Better World” (Norman Bearcroft)
Soloist: David Taylor
Trombone feature: “I will follow Him” (arr. Goff Richards)
“Over the Rainbow” (arr. Goff Richards)
Soloist: Neil Blessett
“The Crimson Tide” (Hans Zimmer)
Tuba Solo: “The Bare Necessities” (arr.Leigh Baker)
Soloist: Edward Dixon
Song Arrangement: “Written in Red” (Dean Jones)
Scripture Thought - Paul Meredith
Band Song “Were you there?” (arr. Eric Ball)
“Kerygma” (Stephen Ponsford)
“Irish Blessing” (Stephen Bradnum)
Sunday 11th April 2010
The Band, and several of our Sheffield friends, met for prayers (ably led by Alex Pearce) before the morning service where we spent time considering several aspects of the Easter Story. This was done through music and the spoken word and brought much help and blessing to everyone present.
Sunday afternoon’s proceedings started with Martin Cordner’s March ‘Light-bringer’. Other band pieces included ‘Canadian Folk Song Suite’, and Leslie Condon’s classic ‘Easter Glory’.
The two soloists, Mark Sharman (trombone) and Rob Hayward (xylophone) acquitted themselves well with ‘A Never Failing Friend’ and ‘Liszteria’ respectively.
The band, having tired themselves out, tried to make their escape during Elmer Bernstein’s ‘The Great Escape’, but they were “persuaded to stay” to provide a fitting benediction in the form of William Gordon’s arrangement of ‘God Be With You ‘till We Meet Again’.
As the band encircled the congregation, this indeed made a fitting benediction to a truly wonderful and uplifting weekend of fellowship and sharing with our fellow Salvationists. As each member of the band shook hands with the congregation, we looked forward to the return visit from Sheffield Citadel Band to Birmingham in October.