On Saturday, 16 November 2013, Brass Impact (Bandmaster Brian Johnson) gathered in Warrington for their final engagement of 2013. Brass Impact is a group of choice musicians drawn from Salvation Army corps in the north of England who join together to present high calibre musical festivals in various parts of the country.
The band presented a varied program that interspersed exciting works, such as Psalm of Thanks (Paul Sharman) and Celebrate and Sing (Martin Cordner) with devotional pieces that brought moments of reverence and reflection to the festival. These included Philip Harper’s delicate and thought-provoking arrangement of In Love for Me and Peter Graham’s glorious, and often overlooked, arrangement of St. Theresa.
The centerpiece of the evening was Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s vibrant Fire in the Blood, written for the 120th anniversary of the International Staff Band in 2011. Lovatt-Cooper has close associations with the Warrington Corps, and with news of his recent stroke, it was fitting that this performance was dedicated to his continued recovery.
There was also opportunity for some of the band’s principal players to display virtuosity on their chosen instruments. Alun Perry (cornet) delivered a controlled and melodic presentation of Don’t Doubt Him Now (Leonard Ballantine). Jim Ely (euphonium) and Paul Woodward (trombone) demonstrated extraordinary range and technical brilliance in their respective renditions of Home on the Range and Atlantic Zephyrs.
The commanding officer of Warrington Corps, Major Adrian Coupe, offered a word of thanks at the conclusion of the program. He reflected on how the band had delivered a strong Christian message through a wide variety of musical styles that had excited and challenged those gathered in equal measure.
Brass Impact now looks forward to a full program of events in 2014, with visits to Middlesbrough, Halifax, Sunderland Monkwearmouth and Kendall already scheduled.
Report submitted by Richard Woodroffe