On 4 June 2016, the Belfast Temple Band (Bandmaster Jack Burch) held a reunion dinner, with just under 80 former and current members and spouses. Band memorabilia was on display and nostalgia was in the air as everyone in attendance browsed through photographs, festival tunics, instruments, and band weekend programs from yesteryear. A delicious meal including a mountain of desserts was cooked and served by Cheryl Murray and her team.
After the meal, Band Sergeant Stephen Wray brought a Bible reading and thought which was quickly followed by the band doing what Salvation Army bands do best – a hymn tune (two verses of “Deep Harmony”). The band then played Variations on “Terra Beata”, written in 1992 by James Curnow, which is associated with the words:
This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.
Immediately after this, the platform was opened up to allow all former members who wished to join the band to do so. The massed band played through “Blue Book” favorites such as Montreal Citadel and One by One, as well as joining with a bagpiper for Highland Citadel. With a nod to former Belfast Temple bandswoman Dorothy Gates (now of the New York Staff Band), the massed band played the third movement of the Ravenhill Suite, which she composed using tunes associated with the local area.
Belfast Temple Band web site