The Birmingham Citadel Band and Songsters joined with the William Booth Memorial Halls Band and Songsters on Easter Monday (17 April 2006) for a concert at the William Booth Memorial Halls in Nottingham. The concert also featured vocal soloist Richard McIntosh, a member of the International Staff Songsters and a soldier at Chelmsford.
The Birmingham Citadel Band began the festival with Fanfare to Worship (Steven Ponsford), followed by congregational singing in the form of the well-loved hymn “Crown Him with Many Crowns”. Next up were the William Booth Memorial Halls Songters, who sang I Know a Fount, followed by an invocation from Major Ray Brown. The Songsters continued with two selections arranged by Kevin Norbury, Psalm 23 and Rejoice, the Lord Is King.
The vocal soloist for the evening, Richard McIntosh, demonstrated his control and clear message with his first selecttions of the evening. Birmingham Citadel Band continued the program with two selections, including The Name (Martin Cordner), an ebullient arrangement of “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord”. Two more songs from William Booth Memorial Halls Songsters followed, More Than Wonderful (arr. Leonard Ballantine) and He Is Jehovah (arr. Gary Rhodes), the latter including some footwork by the singers. Concluding the first half of the program was Leslie Condon’s masterful suite Easter Glory, telling the complete Easter story in music, through three movements: “Day of Death”, “Day of Mourning” and “Day of Resurrection”, concluding with a powerful statement that “Christ the Lord Is Risen Again”.
During the interval, the corps switched duties, as the band from William Booth Memorial Halls and the Songsters from Birmingham Citadel took the stage. The Songsters, with piano, drum and bass guitar accompaniment, performed two songs, including You Are My King, featuring an obbligato solo line from Deputy Songster Leader Stephanie Lamplough and interpretive worship dance presented by Lucy Lamplough and Lucy Adams. This powerful moment was followed by some devotional thoughts and Scripture read by Major Bill Cochrane.
The William Booth Memorial Halls Band brought the mood back to one of celebration with a swing-style arrangement, Shall We Gather (Leonard Ballantine). During this item, the Birmingham Citadel Songsters quietly prepared for the next event on the program, a medley of songs from the show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Accompanied by a small ensemble (Gavin Lamplough and Daniel Robson on trumpet, Mark Sharman on trombone, Anna Lamplough on saxophone and Graham Lamplough on keyboard, the Songsters presented a polished performance of these songs, complete with brightly-colored shirts (representing the Dreamcoat) for the front row and choreography designed by Stephanie Lamplough. Throughout the performance of this work there were a number of diffent costumes, movement and dance employed to enhance the experience for the audience.
Richard McIntosh returned for a second set of songs, including an excellent a capella performance. Songster Leader Lesley Nicholson provided accompaniment for the second song in this set.
The major item from the William Booth Memorial Halls Band in the second half was William Himes’ transcription of Richard Wagner’s operatic work Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral. Although originally composed as a part of a secular opera, this timeless music, with its long, slow crescendo building to a dynamic climax, shows the beauty and power of music in a spiritual setting.
The Birmingham Citadel Songsters returned for two final numbers, the inspirational You Raise Me Up, enhanced with a cello accompaniment provided by Lydia Stone-Ewings, and then the up-tempo Too Hot Down There. The concert concluded with the band introducing a new march, Notts One, composed by Steve Sutton, who was present at the concert.
Birmingham Citadel web site