On the last weekend of March 2014, the Amsterdam Staff Band (Bandmaster Olaf Ritman) was in the southwest of the Netherlands, in the beautiful seaside cities of Middelburg and Vlissingen. The Walcheren Corps there had been looking forward to the Staff Band’s visit for some time and their preparations were extraordinary.
Saturday, 29 March 2014
As the Walcheren Corps is on the outskirts of the country, several bandsmen had to travel for hours. When everyone was present, the band gathered on the edge of the shopping center in Middelburg and marched through the main street to the square for an open-air concert. The weather was exceptional, as the sun was shining, and with a temperature of around 20° C it was great to play outside. Many people stayed to listen to the sounds of the band and an attractive program was offered, including an effortlessly-played euphonium solo offered by principal euphonium Michel Rosenquist.
Items played during the open-air concert included:
- Call of the Gospel (Martin Cordner)
- The Great Rescue (Martin Cordner)
- Guardian of My Soul (Darren Shaw)
- Grand Dieu, nos te benisons (Silfverberg)
- Deeper Consecration (Sam Creamer) – Michel Rosenquist, euphonium soloist
- Abundance (Venables)
- Tu es Petrus (Olaf Ritman)
- The Army Spirit (Clarke)
- Telling It! (Sam Creamer)
- Folk Festival
For the Saturday evening concert, the concert was planned for the corps hall. However, because of the high number of ticket requests, only days prior to the weekend the corps had to look out for a larger building. This was found in the Open Hofkerk in Vlissingen. Nearly the whole church was sold out. An appreciative, thankful and enthusiastic audience was eager to see and hear the band. The evening program included:
- He Is Exalted (Edward Mylechreest)
- Lord, With My All I Part (Brian Bowen)
- Fighting for the Lord (Emil Söderström)
- Fantasia for Cornet (Martin Cordner) – Dutch premiere, Steef Klepke Jr., cornet soloist
- Exodus (Eric Ball)
- Jesus Shall Conquer (Kevin Larsson) – Mark Ontswedder, trombone soloist
- They Shall Come from the East (Kevin Larsson)
- Telling It! (Sam Creamer)
- Synergy (Martin Cordner) – Arend Pietersen and Michel Arnoldus, cornet soloists
- Lux Aurumque (arr. Poirier)
- Children of Sanchez (Mangione/Gilje) – Menno van der Woude, flügelhorn soloist
- Letter from Home (Philip Sparke)
- Variations on a Celestial Theme (Kenneth Downie)
- Amsterdam Festival March (Norman Bearcroft)
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Sunday morning was, as usual, spent at the host corps, where the band played Wondrous Cross (Philip Wilby) and The Wounds of Christ (Michael Babb), among several other items, both before and after the meeting. The people of Walcheren Corps were enthusiastic and enjoyed everything the band did.
After the morning meeting, a great dinner with typical Dutch food (that is, Chinese!) was brought in, much to the delight of the staff band members. After this, they were off to the last engagement of the weekend, playing at an old people’s home in Vlissingen.
Once again, the weather was great, so the band played outside. Many people were eagerly awaiting the band’s presence and the music. The band played several nice items, including the cornet duet Synergy (also played on Saturday night). One of the highlights was They Shall Come from the East, which was, as it is everywhere that the band plays it, a real crowd-pleaser and a great success. Flügelhorn soloist Menno van der Woude wen on to the children’s toy “thing” and drum soloist Erik-Jan Brummel did his thing with the drum. Another highlight here was Victors Acclaimed, conducted by the Walcheren music leader, Garry Hageman.
All in all, it was a terrific weekend, with many highlights, great music, a great Holy Message, great weather, great atmosphere and great food!
Report submitted by Steef Klepke Jr., principal cornet, Amsterdam Staff Band