1966 and All That

On 16 July 2016, Norwich Citadel Band (Bandmaster Richard Woodrow) took part in “1966 and all that”, a special occasion marking 50 years since the band performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

It hardly seems that 50 years have passed since that day in June 1966. Four bands were present for the occasion in 1966: The International Staff Band who played Resurgam (Eric Ball), Chalk Farm Band who played Symphonic Variations on “I Know a Fount (Thomas Rive), William Booth Memorial Halls Band who played Melodies of Dvořák (arr. Ray Steadman-Allen), and Norwich Citadel Band played Eric Ball’s masterpiece Song of Courage. All four bands joined in Great and Glorious (George Marshall) and the march The Conflict, written in 1913 by a young Bramwell Coles.

A number of bandsmen were present on 16 July 2016 who had played in the Norwich Citadel Band at the 1966 event under the leadership of Bandmaster John Gibson, including Doug Beattie, Charles King, Kelvin Mann, Eric Franklin, Royston Maynard, Alwyn Green, Frederick Mann, Michael Aldred, Reg Brightman, David Fowler, David Woodrow, Roger Woodrow, Brian Osborne, Chris Dann, and Bandmaster Gibson himself.

Norwich Citadel Band presented the first half of the concert with solos by David Winch (horn) who played a solo written by Steven Ponsford entitled Air and Rondo for Tenor Horn and Band and Daniel Beattie (euphonium) who played Canaan’s Land (Peter Graham). Other music featured by the band was Let There Be Light (Steven Ponsford) and Deep River (William Broughton).

While Song of Courage was the focal piece of the evening, several other pieces during the program featured music used at the Royal Albert Hall in 1966. These included excerpts from I Know a Fount and Melodies of Dvořák, The Conflict, and Great and Glorious. For these items, Norwich Citadel Band was joined by Diss Band (Bandmaster Iain Sturgeon) and Norfolk Fellowship Brass (Bandmaster David Woodrow)). Fellowship Brass members represent corps from around Norfolk, including Aylsham, Great Yarmouth, Lowstoft Citadel, and Norwich Mile Cross, plus band reservists from Norwich Citadel.

An interesting feature of the evening was an interview between Bandmaster Woodrow and Bandmaster Gibson as well as other spoken items of historic interest from about 1966.

Norwich Citadel Band web site, original report by Band Secretary Michael Whybrow