Bandmaster John Bird and the Solent Fellowship Band offered a cleverly constructed program which charmed and delighted a receptive audience at St. John the Baptist Church in Purbrook on Friday, 29 November 2013. As always during its concerts, the band encouraged and was rewarded by excellent congregational singing. For this concert, there were a variety of Christmas carols, including “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”, “Good King Wenceslas”, “We Three Kings”, “Joy to the World” and “In the Bleak Mid-winte” among them.
Christmas items from the band included Carolcade (Trevor Davis), Christmas Praise (Noel Jones), Pachelbel’s Noel (Simon Kerwin), The Manger Scene (Leslie Condon, arr. Andrew Blyth), Quem Pastores (Geoffrey Nobes) – conducted by assistant conductor David Samuels, Yuletide Rag (Richard Phillips) and Jungle Bells.
the band presented other high-quality performances. Kenneth Downie’s arrangement of My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose was sensitively played by principal euphonium Dan Redhead. Principal horn Callam Carter gave a sparkling rendition of the Rondo from Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto. David Samuels conducted Greensleeves (arr. Gordon Langford). More classical literature was represented by the Radetsky March (Johann Strauss) and Troika (Serge Prokofiev).
A sensitive performance of “The Shepherd’s Farewell” from Childhood of Christ (Hector Berlioz) led into an opening prayer by Band Sergeant Derek Smith. A similarly sensitive offering of Silent Night led into Trevor Dawson’s Bible reading and homily.
The band sent everyone home smiling and content with an evening of good music, concluding the evening with Come Follow the Band (Colman, arr. Price).
Solent Fellowship Band web site