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Birmingham Citadel Band welcomed Sheffield Citadel Band (BM Keith Wileman) for the “return-leg” of an exchange between the two bands.  BCB enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Sheffield back in April and so we eagerly anticipated this weekend.


The weekend started with a Saturday evening festival.  SCB got the evening off to a great start with Steven Ponsford’s “Turris Fortissima”. Written for Enfield Citadel Band's tour of the USA in 2007, the music attempts to portray God's protection.  The geographical position of Plymouth (the composer's home city) means that, at various times in history, the city has been the United Kingdom's first line of defence.  However, the city's forefathers believed that physical security was worthless without a faith in God's protection and this is reflected in the city motto; Turris fortissima est nomen Jehovah (The name of Jehovah is our strongest tower) (Proverbs 18:10). The music features the contemporary song Shout to the Lord and there is also an apt reference to Dean Goffin's My Strength, My Tower as the music builds to its dramatic final bars. 

The band followed this with two solo items.  Newly appointed principal cornet Adrian Wileman created a reflective atmosphere playing Matthew Ingram’s “I Love You Lord”, before the composer took centre stage as he played Norman Bearcroft’s “Better World”.  The audience clearly enjoyed the impressive reading from memory!  Other pieces included Dean Jones’ “Glorifico Aeternum” and Wagner’s timeless “Elsa’s Procession to the Minster”.  Vicki Lewis gave a thought provoking short message before, as per tradition, the band ended with their own march “Sheffield Citadel”.


The Sunday morning was led by Glyn Evans and Kay Mason and they did a terrific job as the large congregation enjoyed a varied and challenging time with the band.  The whole weekend was based around the theme of SCB’s latest CD recording which was launched on the Saturday evening: “Legacy”.  It features the music of former SCB Bandmaster Jim Wright who certainly left a musical legacy both at Sheffield Citadel and for the wider Salvation Army world.  This was the catalyst for the weekend as those gathered were challenged “what legacy will you leave when your time on earth is over?”.

The Sunday evening service took the form of a mini-concert when the band played music such as Peter Graham’s “The Last Amen” and cornet duet “Quicksilver” when SCB’s principal cornet Adrian Wileman was joined by Birmingham Citadel Band’s principal Gavin Lamplough to perform the soloists parts.  The band also included music from the pen of Jim Wright as well as Wilfred Heaton’s timeless “Just as I am”.


We enjoyed a good weekend with christian friends and a wide variety of music was enjoyed.

Photographs: Graham Daff
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