Birmingham Citadel Band At Swanbank Methodist Church
BCB made the short trip up to the Potteries in order to perform to the enthusiastic audience at Swanbank Methodist Church. The concert itself took the form of a more traditional BCB concert in the first half, followed by a Proms themed second half which celebrated 50 years since Apollo 11 and the first Moon landing.
The first half got off to an 'interesting start' with the venue's air conditioning adding a sense of danger to the opening item 'Let their be light' (Ponsford) as music threatened to be blown astray. Once corrected, the band moved on to feature principal Tenor Horn player Neil Blessett's beautiful rendition of 'King of Kings' (Lamplough) and Kevin Larsson's 'Fill the world with glory'. Two further soloists were then featured: Deputy Bandmaster and Principal Trombone player Mark Sharman performing 'On the lighter side' written by his brother Paul Sharman, while Principal Euphonium David Taylor once again amazed with his rendition of Vallfickans Dans (Hugo Alfven; arr. Froyde Ryland).
The first half continued with 'Hosanna Shuffle' (Sam Creamer) and 'Still' (Andrew Blyth). The final piece and major work for the evening was Martin Cordner's 'Aftershock', a piece of music written to reflect the 'aftershock' that the birth and death of Jesus Christ had on the early church and as a result, the world as the message of the Gospel spread throughout the world.
The second half saw a change of theme (and outfits) as the band played a number of pieces chosen to celebrate 50 years since Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. The classical arrangement 'Also Sprach Zarathrustra' (trans. G. Lamplough) was immediately followed by the exciting "Phoenix, from War of the Worlds' (Peter Graham). The final two space themed items were the march 'The Spacemen' and the 'Main theme from Star Wars' (J. Williams; arr. F. Bryce).
The programme then moved onto the traditional 'Proms' set. 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs' (Henry Wood), 'Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1' (Edward Elgar), 'Rule Britannia' (Thomas Arne) featuring guest soloist Stephanie Lamplough, 'Jerusalem' (C. Hubert Parry) and the National Anthem (Gordon Jacob; trans. Gavin Lamplough) were all enthusiastically received with much flag waving and loud voices as is always the case with these events.
The evening finished with the march 'Under Two Flags' (Bramwell Coles) which brought to an end a thoroughly enjoyable evening with the people in attendance.