Concert for "Vision of Hope"

On 2 October 2015, Boscombe Band (Bandmaster Dr. Howard J. Evans) and Winton Songsters (Songster Leader David Ramsay) joined for a festival, entitled “Vision of Hope”, in support of the Salvation Army work in Ukraine. The guest soloist for the evening was cornetist Alex Ramsay of Bellshill Corps.

Since the Salvation Army commenced operations in Ukraine in 1994, Salvationists from Winton, Boscombe, Poole and other corps have been involved in supporting the ongoing work there in numerous ways. Orphanages, tuberculosis sanatoriums, homes for the elderly and other Salvation Army premises have been renovated, children’s holiday clubs have been organized in orphanages and a Roma Gypsy settlement, and much-needed clothing and food has been distributed.

Boscombe Band opened the festival with Fanfare of Praise (Robert Redhead) and the Winton Songsters contributed Sovereign Over Us. To commemorate the first music camp held in Ukraine the band played the march Camp Victory (Norman Bearcroft). Major Paul Johnson, corps officer at Winton, gave an invocation and introduced Major Elwyn Harries, divisional commander of the Ireland Division, who was to conduct Harvest celebrations at Winton the next day. Major Harries later gave a Bible message and chaired part of the program.

Alex Ramsay demonstrated his clear sound in the solos Clear Skies and the more reflective Don’t Doubt Him Now. Other contributions from the Songsters included Your Grace Still Amazes Me and Rhythm of Life while the Band played, appropriately, excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, known as “The Little Russian”.

In contrast to this lively music, the audience received in silence Bow the Knee from the Songsters. The Band gave a fine performance of Illuminate (Andrew Wainwright) before the Songsters brought the excellent evening of good music to a close with The Prayer.

Throughout the evening, spoken references to the difficulties encountered in the early days of the Salvation Army’s work in the Ukraine, the progress of this ministry over the years, and the need for financial support for its future maintenance, were interspersed with the musical items. The resulting appeal produced almost £1,000 in funds for the ministry in Ukraine.

Boscombe Band web site, original report by Lt.-Col. Ramsay Caffull