The Salvation Army corps in Gloucester has for many years supported the local Gloucester charity Cloud 9. On 14 May, at the Salvation Army hall, Eastgate Street, a benefit concert was held featuring the Gloucester music sections, along with vocal soloists Deborah Ketteringham (Reading Central Corps) and Tom Elliott (Gloucester Corps), who recently appeared on the CBBC program “Level Up” with his puppet, Freddie Bear.
The hall was filled for the concert, the audience including Gloucester Salvationists, Cloud 9 supporters, and several dignitaries, including the Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester. The program for the evening was varied, including Salvationist music and tunes from film and stage productions. The concert began with the Gloucester Salvation Army Band (Bandmaster Clifford Matthews), playing To a God Like This (John Larsson, arr. Ian Robinson), followed by an invocation. Words of welcome and various introductions were provided by Mike Essex, a member of the Gloucester Band and a volunteer for Cloud 9.
Songs from Deborah Ketteringham included I Must Have the Saviour with Me, Closer Than, and Somewhere (from Leonard Bernstein's classic musical West Side Story). She also sang Sisters, joined by her own sister, Viv Prescott.
In addition to a ventriloquism demonstration with Freddie Bear, Tom Elliott also sang songs from two shows, beginning with a humorous adaptation of If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. He also presented from Oliver, the song sung by the master thief Fagin, I'm Reviewing the Situation.
Items from the Gloucester Band included The Muppet Show Theme, Chassidic Dance and Rousseau. The Gloucester Songsters contributed two items, Sing for Joy and The Majesty and Glory of Your Name.
Liz White, Coordinator of Cloud 9, offered a video presentation showing where the charity's funds are used. Cloud 9 is aimed at making a dream come true for children suffering from serious, in some cases terminal, illneses. The charity supplies trips to Walt Disney World and other theme parks in Florida for these children and their caregivers.
Following the presentation, Tory Arkell, Financial Director of Kettering Textiles Ltd., presented Liz White with a donation from the company. In addition, a free-will offering collected from the audience supplied over £500 for the Cloud 9 charity.
Gloucester Salvation Army web site