Visit to Coleford Baptist for Birmingham Citadel

A friendship begun in a military hospital on Cyprus in 1959 led to a visit to Coleford Baptist Church by the Birmingham Citadel Band in March 2006. While in hospital on Cyprus, one of the members of the Coleford Baptist Church was impressed by the ministry of a small Salvationist ensemble that visited his ward, leading to a long-standing friendship with one of the players. This relationship was key to organizing the visit of the band to Coleford this past March.

Following a meal at the church, the band began the program with Fanfare to Worship, followed by The Londonderry Air, sensitively played as a trombone solo by Mark Sharman. The congregation, mostly made up of members of the Baptist church, was then introduced to a contemporary version of the old hymn Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven. After this, another feature item was presented, Peter Graham’s scintillating cornet duet Quicksilver, played by Martin Hughes and Gavin Lamplough.

Another old favorite hymn, Amazing Grace, followed. A different flavor was provided by Howard Evans’ Chassidic Dance, which was well-received by the audience despite not being a favorite of the band. The first half of the concert concluded with an arrangement of Love Changes Everything featuring Karen Farmer on flügelhorn, and two marches, Star Lake and Army of the Brave.

The second portion of the concert began with The Name, followed by an old classic of classical excerpts, Treasures from Tchaikovsky. Tenor horn soloist Neil Blessett gave a moving performance of Green Hill, bringing the message of the Cross to the fore. Gavin Lamplough built on this spirit in his devotional remarks following the horn solo.

The major work of the evening followed the devotional message. Leslie Condon’s Easter Glory is a masterful telling of the Easter story in music. The next item, the march Under Two Flags, was appreciated by the many ex-military and ex-Salvationist band members in attendance. The concert concluded with an old chestnut of brass band literature, the Floral Dance, with the audience clapping along.

Birmingham Citadel Band web site