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A thoroughly enjoyable week-end was experienced when Cardiff Canton Band, under the baton of Bandmaster Carl Saunders, visited Birmingham Citadel. The sun shone down on Birmingham and it was against this background that our visitors made themselves very much at home, as was evident by their friendly demeanour and obvious enjoyment of Salvation Army banding.


Much was made in the Saturday evening festival of the band’s Welsh heritage and to this end pieces such as “Summon the Dragon”(Graham), “Myfanwy”(Downie) and  Kneale’s Horn Solo,“Variations on a Welsh Theme” ,played by Mike Saunders, were featured.


Other soloists in the programme were Jonathan Hayes (“Rhapsody for cornet and band” – Bowes), Mel Beynon (Euphonium solo “In Christ alone” – Philips) and Julian Weaver (Pianoforte).


More reflective music included “Vitae Lux” (Alnaes),”Swedish folk song” (Graham) and “The Power of the Cross” (Paul Sharman), whilst stirring performances of the more challenging music of Graham’s “Sirocco” and Steadman-Allen’s “Daystar” were particularly well received.


Sunday’s meetings were led by Major Paul Maine and, again, the band demonstrated a wide variety of their repertoire ranging from “Pie Jesu” to a piece that was new to most listeners – “Onward”!


Once more, the spirit of the band was evident in everything they did and the gospel message was delivered clearly through everything they said and played. The power-point presentations were most effective in supporting the band’s message. Throughout the week-end the home sections supported the band. The final spirited rendition of “Soldiers of Christ”(Marshall) brought the week-end to a fitting conclusion.


Needless to say, having made such firm friendships over the week-end, BCB is now looking forward to visiting Cardiff for a return week-end campaign in October!

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