The 135th Anniversary Reunion Weekend for the Sheffield Citadel Band (Bandmaster Keith Wileman), held at the Citadel on 24 – 25 September 2016, got off to a rousing start with Kevin Larsson’s On We March before Bandmaster Keith Wileman invited former members of the band to come forward. The former members were welcomed and thanked for their service before many of them took their places in the massed band of about 60 musicians to play their parts once again.
Former members had traveled from as far as Mexico and Holland, as well as the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, to share in a weekend of fellowship, music, and memories under the leadership of Lt.-Colonel Trevor Davis. The day commenced with a time of fellowship and renewing acquaintances, before an afternoon rehearsal and celebration tea. For some, it was the first time that they had returned to the corps in many years and so it was a great opportunity to share in this time together.
During the evening festival, former Sheffield Citadel bandmasters each took their place in front of the band to conduct pieces selected because of their special significance. Brian Towse was the first to lead the band in the appropriately titled march Celebration (Leslie Condon), during which Bandmaster Towse invited the 200-strong audience to join in singing “Keep the Old Flag Flying”, which was greeted with much enthusiasm. Norman Short then conducted the classic Dean Goffin meditation, The Light of the World. Ian Wileman, who served two terms as bandmaster, the latter ending in 2001, led the band in the popular festival arrangement Daniel (Barrie Gott). The reflective selection By Love Compelled (Ray Steadman-Allen) was conducted by Roland Hill.
Other band items included during the evening were The Call of the Righteous (Leslie Condon) and The Blessing (William Himes). Follow the latter Lt.-Col. Davis spoke about Paul’s words to the church as Philippi about the importance of “now”, and how, although reunions and nostalgia are good, the most important thing is where we are in our journeys today and who we are today.
The festival also included some vocal items. This Little Light was presented by the massed band. Two vocal solos were also included, A Different Man sung by Leslie West and the aptly titled It’s a Wonderful Day – a true reflection of the entire weekend – sung by Andrew Wileman. The festival concluded with the band’s signature march, Sheffield Citadel, written by the late Bandmaster Herbert Mountain.
On Sunday, Lt.-Col. Davis led worship at the corps, focusing on “Moving for Christ” and “Standing for Christ”, the band’s theme for its 135th anniversary year. His message was direct and simple, and the congregation was both challenged and blessed by his ministry and leadership.
Sheffield Citadel Band web site