Birmingham Citadel Band (Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough) made its first visit to Sale on 20 April 2013. After a welcome tea, the band played to a full hall with over 200 people in attendance. The festival offered a varied program, which boasted major works such as Resurgam (Eric Ball) and Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper).
The audience was taken through many genres right from the start, with the spirited opener Laudes Domini to Darren Shaw’s Guardian of My Soul, which brought a time of reflection. This was aided by a well-crafted multimedia presentation that helped many in the crowd relate to the music and focus on the words.
The Golden Pen (Wilfred Heaton) set the stage for two of the evening’s soloists. Neil Blessett (tenor horn) played A Time for Peace (Peter Graham), an alternative lyric piece from his solo repertoire. Mark Sharman (trombone) played Somebody Prayed for Me, which is known by many as a vocal arrangement. This version, by Peter van der Horden, offered the song in both major and minor keys, not heard in the original song.
Lift Up Your Voice (Stephen Bulla) and Resurgam proceeded the soloists and were received appropriately, with a stunned silence following Eric Ball’s masterwork. The interval was marked by a “Larsson sandwich”, with They Shall Come from the East completing the first half and the second half beginning with Fill the World with Glory (Kevin Larsson).
The congregation was transported to Scotland as Deputy Bandmaster Mark Sharman led the band in Celtic Impressions (Darrol Barry), which featured a technical encounter for the cornet section led by principal Nicola Redhead.
David Taylor’s debut performance of Euphony (Robert Redhead) was executed in a typically nonchalant manner that was packed with technical accuracy and an impressive high finish.
The final soloist of the evening was Edward Dixon who played The Bare Necessities (arr. Leigh Baker). This solo was a comical one, as usual. However, on this occasion a little more was “bared” than anticipated, as Bandmaster Lamplough required a trouser repair following this item.
The program came to a close with a meditative Written in Red which set the mood for a though given by Band Sergeant Ian Kershaw. Fire in the Blood left the audience filled with spirit as they left the hall. The build-up towards the end was a “shiver down the spine” moment which was a just ending to an evening of fine music.
The band returned home after their signature encore, The Liberator (George Marshall).
Birmingham Citadel Band web site, original report by Lucy Lamplough