On 24 February 2017, the Solent Fellowship Band (Bandmaster Dan Redhead) joined with the Bournemouth Area Fellowship Band (Bandmaster Stan Randell) at Wimborne Methodist Church for a charity concert in aid of Wimborne Salvation Army and Wimborne Bus on the Square. Crammed into a tiny space in the church, in a configuration previously unknown in the history of brass bands, with the cornet section seated a meter or more above the rest of the band and the bandmaster on a triple-height rostrum in order to be seen by the distant tuba section, the bands were nonetheless in excellent form throughout the evening.
Contributions from the Bournemouth Area Fellowship Band included From Earth’s Confusion (Trevor Davis), Shout Salvation (Robert Redhead), Spirit (Ray Steadman-Allen), a very well-received jaunt through Barrie Gott’s Daniel, and People Need the Lord (arr. Trevor Davis).
The Solent Fellowship Band’s items started with an exciting, controlled performance of Collaroy (Barrie Gott), which revealed the excellent acoustics of the church. This was followed by John Hanchett (euphonium), who played In Christ Alone (Stuart Townend, arr. Richard Phillips). Hanchett gave a beautiful performance, demonstrating his consummate musicianship and sensitively reflecting the inspiration of the words by Keith Getty. Just before the interval, the Solent band offered a sparkling rendition of Dance Before the Lord (Peter Graham), capturing the essence of the composer’s stylistic references to Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite.
After summoning the audience back from their tea and cakes during the interval with Joy, Peace and Happiness (Richard Phillips), the Solent Fellowship Band led into a time of reflection with All to Jesus (Roger Trigg). In a well-prepared, succinct homily, Colonel Willie Main spoke of people needing the Lord whatever their position in life. This was followed by the combined bands singing Isaac Watts’ hymn “When I survey the wondrous cross” to George Marshall’s tune “Harton-Lea”.
At the conclusion of the time of reflection, Bandmaster Redhead introduced Eric Ball’s 1938 masterpiece, The Triumph of Peace. The composer, personally burdened by the thunderclouds of war on the near horizon, describes in the music the coming turbulence of conflict. In his setting of John Oxenham’s hymn “Peace in our time, O Lord”, he expresses his longing for a peaceful settlement of the many international controversies that sadly, unresolved, eventually led to devastation and ruin.
In the traditional massed band ending to a joint concert, Bandmaster Redhead led the band through an exuberant Let There Be Praise (Dick and Melody Tunney, arr. Barrie Gott). Bandmaster Randell took an expressive interpretation of Dean Goffin’s The Light of the World before Bandmaster Redhead returned to conduct a stately performance of the march Emblem of the Army (Arthur Gullidge).
All that remained was for Major Katrina Greetham of the Wimborne Corps to say “Thank you” to the bands, and for the 80-plus band members to receive the considerable and appreciative applause of the audience.
Solent Fellowship Band web site