Birmingham to Norwich for Ministry Weekend

On the weekend of 16 – 17 November 2013, the Birmingham Citadel Band (Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough) made the long journey to Norwich for a ministry weekend at Norwich Citadel.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Upon arrival in Norwich, the first challenge was to fit the 38 members of the Birminham Citadel Band on the narrow platform at Norwich Citadel, but, after some do-it-yourself skills were tested, the band was able to settle down for a memorable weekend. The evening concert was well-received by the large audience from the opening fanfare of Laudes Domini (William Gordon) through the journey of deeply spiritual music and lighthearted musical entertainment.

Birmingham Citadel Band on stage at Norwich Citadel

Birmingham Citadel Band on stage at Norwich Citadel

New works such as Skydance were met with approval from the audience, especially with the composer, Captain Martin Cordner, in attendance. The interpretation of more established repertoire and Salvation Army classics, such as Eric Ball’s timeless masterpiece Resurgam, added balance to the program, which was fully appreciated by those in attendance.

The band’s soloists were in fine form. Neil Blessett’s sonorous sounds rang around the hall and Deputy Bandmaster Mark Sharman gave an impressive reading of the trombone solo Song of Exuberance (Leslie Condon). David Taylor, returning home to the corps where he grew up, delighted the audience with an exciting interpretation of Euphony (Robert Redhead). A proud moment for Norwich Citadel as well as the band and soloist. Edward Dixon’s lighthearted solo The Bare Necessities was a moment of light relief enjoyed by all, although some members of the band seemed to enjoy it a little too much as they hijacked the performance. Even the bandmaster got in on the act with a jazz trumpet solo.

A new work by Paul Sharman, Everlasting Hope, and a thought-provoking message from Paul Meredith led to the final major work of the night, Peter Graham’s Renaissance. The extended applause reflected the appreciation of the audience.

The full program for the Saturday night concert was as follows:

  • Laudes Domini (William Gordon)
  • Time to Be Holy (Paul Sharman)
  • Skydance (Martin Cordner)
  • A Time for Peace (Peter Graham), Neil Blessett, tenor horn
  • The Golden Pen (Wilfred Heaton)
  • Song of Exuberance (Leslie Condon), Mark Sharman, trombone
  • Resurgam (Eric Ball)
  • Interval
  • Fill the World with Glory (Kevin Larsson)
  • Congregational Song – “Love Divine”
  • A Celtic Impression (Darrol Barry)
  • Euphony (Robert Redhead), David Taylor, euphonium
  • Where I Love to Be (Kevin Larsson)
  • The Bare Necessities (arr. Baker), Edward Dixon, tuba
  • Everlasting Hope (Paul Sharman)
  • Devotional Thought
  • Renaissance (Peter Graham)
  • The Liberator (George Marshall)

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Morning worship was introduced by the band playing the beautiful Lord, Thou Art Questioning conducted by Deputy Bandmaster Sharman. There was an entertaining children’s story from Nicola Redhead which featured Norwich Citadel Bandmaster Richard Woodrow dressed as a policeman! The meeting was led by Band Sergeant Ian Kershaw with the Bible message prepared by Bandmaster Lamplough around the theme “Jesus – the Guardian of your Soul”.

The theme was introduced with Dean Goffin’s timeless meditation The Light of the World under the direction of Bandmaster Lamplough as he asked the congregation if they could sense God waiting at the door to their hearts (invoking the message behind the Holman Hunt painting that inspired Goffin to compose this piece). The message was concluded with Guarian of My Soul (Darren Shaw). Following the conclusion of the service, the deputy bandmaster led the band in the hymn tune arrangement French.

Birmingham Citadel and Norwich Citadel marching in the high street, Norwich

United bands marching in the high street

Following the morning service, the massed bands of Birmingham Citadel and Norwich Citadel marched down the high street – quite a sight and sound! The united bands conducted an open air service led by Band Sergeant Kershaw. Kershaw, having already received a number of donations for the work of the Salvation Army, informed the large crowd that had gathered that all donations would be given to the disaster relief fund for the Philippines. As the bands played “Abide with Me”, crowds of people donated hundreds of pounds for this challenging situation.

The Sunday afternoon concert began with High and Lifted Up (Steven Ponsford) and featured contemporary pieces such as Amazed! (Paul Sharman) and Lift Up Your Voice (Stephen Bulla). Several more of Birmingham Citadel Band’s soloists were featured, including Andrew Dickinson (tenor horn) with The Piper of Dundee (Kenneth Downie) and the euphonium duet Timepiece (Norman Bearcroft) with soloists David Taylor and Keith Watts.

Morley Calvert’s beautiful My All Is on the Altar led to a thought-provoking message from Andrew Dickinson. The band concluded a fine weekend with the exciting music of Paul Lovatt-Cooper, Fire in the Blood. After thanks for a great weekend, the band sent the audience off with the old march The Roll Call.

Birmingham Citadel Band web site