An Australian Easter in Boscombe

Easter 2014 in Boscombe saw an invasion of Australians – former commanding officers James and Jan Condon returned to lead the weekend, which featured the Sydney Staff Songsters (Songster Leader Graham Ainsworth).

Easter week began in a different fashion for Boscombe this year, beginning with the wedding of flük;gelhorn player Kevin Whittingham to Singing Company Leader Katie Hornby on 12 April. The band provided music for the occasion.

On Palm Sunday, the joyous nature of the day was reflected in the choice of Keep Me Praising by the band, which includes the chorus “Sing Hosanna to the King of Kings”, for its selection in the morning service. The service also featured the enrollment of a new soldier of the corps.

In keeping with recent tradition at Boscombe, the weekend began with a meditative study in music and words on Maundy Thursday (17 April), presented by the Boscombe Band and Boscombe Songsters. The size of the congregation was an indication of how well-attended this year’s Easter Convention would be. Contributions from the band included God So Loved the World (Sir John Stainer, arr. George Marshall), an excerpt from Song of the Eternal (Leslie Condon), Redeeming Love (Thomas Rive) and an excerpt from King of Kings (Eric Ball).

The Sydney Staff Songsters were at the start of a ten-day tour of England and took full part in the Good Friday services. Items from the Boscombe Band during this service included Day of Death (the first movement of Leslie Condon’s suite Easter Glory) and Precious Fountain (William Himes) in the morning; and Written in Red (Dean Jones) and an excerpt from I Know a Fount (Thomas Rive) in the evening.

A full hall greeting the Staff Songsters for their Saturday evening festival, when they were able to showcase their many talents. The hall was again full for the Easter Sunday morning service. Unfortunately, a planned afternoon march and open air service were cancelled because of inclement weather. Instead, an impromptu concert was held at the hall.

There were many highlights to the weekend, but for many the presentation of How Great Thou Art by the massed Staff Songsters and Boscombe Songsters, accompanied by the band, at the end of the Sunday evening was very special. As a benediction and blessing for the Sydney Staff Songsters, the Boscombe Band played God Be With You Till We Meet Again (arr. William Gordon) to conclude the weekend.

Kettering Citadel Band web site