Birmingham Citadel Band were hosts to the Coventry City Band and Bandmaster Jonathan Fearn. The band opened the programme with “Motivation” (Himes) and then went on to present a varied evening. We heard “army classics” such as the Cornet Solo “Clear Skies” (Ball) presented by Principal Cornet Huw Ellis as well as compositions from excellent contemporary Salvation Army composers. Martin Cordner certainly falls into this category and his piece “Let Everything Praise” was a highlight. Further contributions from the pen of Robert Redhead (“Christ-Hymn”), Barrie Gott (“Swingtime Religion”) and Lorne Barry (“Trinity”) ensured that the programme reflected the wealth of composers that the Salvation Army has.
Bandmaster Fearn also delved into the “classical” repertoire with “Finale from William Tell Overture” and “Benedictus from The Armed Man” (Jenkins) which was presented by Principal Euphonium Marc Jones. Melodies from the Musicals included Principal Horn Catherine Wallis’ performance of “On My Own” from Les Miserables and the wider Brass Banding movement was represented by the performance of Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s “Vitae Aeternum”, a piece which is fast becoming a modern day classic. Further diversity was offered from the Vocal Solo “Jesus will still be there” sung by Kirsty Woodhouse.
The visit of this band was made special as several members of the band are former members of the Birmingham Citadel Band including Bandmaster Jonathan Fearn. Jonathan played Soprano Cornet in BCB for several years before moving to Coventry. Whilst at Birmingham Citadel he was also the assistant leader for the Junior Band and we were proud to see him doing such a good job with the Coventry City Band.