Norwich Citadel Band (Bandmaster Richard Woodrow) commenced its new season with a Gala Charity Concert on 4 October 2014 at the Citadel. The concert was in aid of Help for Heroes, a popular military-based charity providing practical help for soldiers injured in conflict. Special guests for the evening were the Marham Bluebirds Military Wives Choir (Musical Director Rachel Meerwald). Military Wives Choirs have become popular at many military bases around the United Kingdom.
Invited guests of honor included:
- Councillor Judith Lubbock, Lord Mayor of Norwich, and her escort
- William Armstrong, Sheriff of Norwich, and his escort
- General the Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, and his wife, Lady Dannatt, recently appointed High Sheriff of Norfolk
- Group Captain Harvey Smyth, Station Commander at RAF Marham, and his wife
Lord Dannatt is the President of Help for Heroes.
In a comfortably full hall, the choir gave a very good account of themselves with a varied selection of songs, many of them written by singer/songwriters from the world of show business. The choir joined with Norwich Citadel Band for the Elgar classic Jerusalem and in a selection of First World War songs such as It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and They’ll Be Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover. Also included what has become an anthem of the Military Wives Choirs, Wherever You Are and also Can You Feel My Love.
Contributions from Norfolk Citadel Band included Fill the World with Glory!, Diamond Jubilee, On High!, Overture to “The Magic Flute” and Abundance.
Volunteers from Help for Heroes decked the Citadel with bunting and H4H flags, making the occasion especially festive. In addition, they set up and manned an excellent display of fundraising items for sale. A brief video of the charity’s work was shown before the appeal was made. The final total raised was £2,301, one of the largest amounts ever raised at the Citadel for another charity.
A year in the planning, this special evening was enjoyed by so many, including the invited guests who made their obvious delight known at being at such a prestigious and worthwhile event.
Norwich Citadel Band web site, original report by Band Secretary Michael Whybrow