Monkwearmouth Band Weekend at Bellshill

The Bellshill Corps in Scotland welcomed the Sunderland Monkwearmouth Band (Bandmaster Joe Beattie) for the weekend of 10 – 11 May 2014. The visit featured a Saturday night music festival, Sunday morning worship and a Sunday afternoon praise and Salvation meeting.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bellshill’s new hall was filled to capacity on Saturday evening. The chairman for the festival was Robert Lawson, who, along with his wife, Joy, soldiers at Sunderland Monkwearmouth, but who served as a bandsman at Bellshill for a few years. The evening got off to a great start with the band playing Salvation Song, followed by Be Still for the Presence of the Lord.

Next on the program was Call of the Gospel, followed by the first soloist of the evening, Bandmaster Joe Beattie, who showed his musical ability with the cornet solo Happy Land.

It was then time for a more recent piece of music, as the band played Dance Like David. The audience was treated to a wonderful male voice quartet, followed by the band playing Songs of the Pioneers. The Bellshill Songsters were supporting the band in the festival and added to the program with a song before the band concluded the first half with one of the great Salvation Army classics, Eric Ball’s variations on The Old Wells.

After the short interval, the band began the second half with the march Assignment, which was followed by personal testimonies from two of the bandsmen. Next was the trombone solo Czardas, played excellently by Colin Neil. Other items included The Last Spring and They Shall Come from the East before Janine Booth gave a short thought. This was followed by the final offering for the evening, To the Chief Musician.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Sunderland Monkwearmouth Band started off the morning Holiness Meeting with Fanfare to Worship, which features the song “Come, Now Is the Time to Worship”. This song provided the theme for the meeting.

Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come just as you are to worship
Come just as you are before your God

The final event of the weekend, on Sunday afternoon, started with the visiting band playing their signature march, Wearmouth March, followed by the song arrangement Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.

Two soloists were featured in the afternoon. Peter Birch played the tuba solo Songs for the Skies. The second soloist was Paul Thompson, who gave his testimony with a rendition of the beautiful euphonium solo In Christ Alone.

As was the case the previous evening, the Bellshill Songsters were supporting the band and added to the program with an item before the band’s trombone section was featured in The Spirit. The praise part of the meeting concluded with the band’s presentation of The Pilgrim Way.

During the Salvation Meeting portion of the program, Bandmaster Beattie set the tone for the message perfectly as he played the cornet solo The Reason. The band concluded the weekend with Servants of God, which features music associated with the words:

Kings of kings, majesty,
God of Heaven living in me,
Gentle Saviour, closest friend,
Strong deliverer, beginning and end,
All within me falls at your throne.

Your majesty, I can but bow,
I lay my all before you now;
In royal robes I don’t deserve
I live to serve your majesty.

Once again, the Sunderland Monkwearmouth Band showed musical excellence in both their playing and their programs during this event.

Bellshill Band web site, original reports by Dorothy Neil