The Amsterdam Staff Band (Bandmaster Olaf Ritman) held its 2014 Fall Festival on the weekend of 7 – 9 November 2014. Special guest for the weekend was Canadian trumpet virtuoso Robert Venables. A professional trumpeter, Venables serves as the principal cornet of the North York Temple Band, Hannaford Street Silver Band and Intrada Brass.
The weekend began with rehearsals on Friday night, with the Amsterdam Staff Songsters graciously moving their regularly scheduled rehearsal to Territorial Headquarters, making room for the Staff Band and guest in the shared rehearsal space. On Saturday morning, many of the members of the Staff Band had early calls as several corps bands played in the center of Apeldoorn.
On Saturday afternoon, there was a meeting for all who wanted to come. The Nationale Jeugd Brassband (National Youth Band) (Bandmaster Daniel Rosenquist) was the duty band, accompanying congregational singing as well as backing the guest soloist in Beyond the Blue, which Venables played from memory in his impeccable style. After this meeting there was a presentation where several choral groups presented themselves and performed some songs.
The Saturday evening concert was spectacular and the performing groups gave their very best. The Amsterdam Staff Songsters were in top form, guest vocal soloist Shirma Rouse brought the house down, the Staff Band was prepared for the evening and cornet soloist Robert Venables was awesome. Of particular note was the participation of the School of Performing Arts, who formed a choir to accompany Rouse (one of the guests at the School this summer). Another highlight of the evening was a major new work, written by Bandmaster Ritman for the Staff Band, Vain Reistance, and, according to many reactions, it made a huge impression on all who heard it.
The full program of the Saturday evening festival was as follows:
- Staff Band – Let There Be Light (Steven Ponsford)
- Staff Songsters – O Nata Lux
- Robert Venables and Staff Band – Fantasia for Cornet (Martin Cordner)
- Staff Songsters – De boom niet in!
- Staff Band – Letter from Home (Philip Sparke)
- Robert Venables and Staff Band – Before the Cross (Edward Gregson)
- Shirma Rouse – For Your Glory
- Shirma Rouse, Staff Songsters and Staff Band – Bridge over Troubled Water
- Shirma Rouse and SPA Choir – Can't Give Up Now
- Staff Songsters – Praise and Worship
- Robert Venables and Staff Band – Life Abundant (Robert Redhead)
- Shirma Rouse – Put a Little Love in Your Heart
- Shirma Rouse – I Won’t Complain
- Staff Band – Vain Resistance (Olaf Ritman)
- Staff Songsters – Sanctify Me Now
- Robert Venables and Staff Band – Standing on the Promises (Douglas Court)
- Shirma Rouse, Staff Songsters and Staff Band – O Happy Day
On Sunday, the Amsterdam Staff Band and Robert Venables were guests at the Apeldoorn Corps in its beautiful new building. During the morning meeting, Venables not only gave his testimony but also presented the cornet solo Share My Yoke. The Staff Band played Eric Ball’s classic Songs in Exile and also He Is Exalted (Edward Mylechreest).
The final performance of the weekend was on Sunday afternoon. Some pieces were repeated from earlier in the weekend along with some new items for an interesting mix for the audience.
Amsterdam Staff Band Facebook page, original post by Steef Klepke