The Annual Christmas Charity Concert at the Salvation Army Hall, Gloucester, in support of the Rotary Club of Gloucester President’s charity of choice, The National Star College, provided a festival of musical entertainment and enjoyment. The event was held on 2 December 2007.
The concert featured guest soloists Laura Brand (vocal) and Will Norman (cornet). Also appearing were The King’s Harmonists and the Gloucester Salvation Army Band and Songsters.
The band opened the concert with a march, The Wonder of Christmas, which was followed by a welcome and introductions by Salvationist and Rotarian John Smith. Distinguished guests included the Sheriff of Gloucester and aide, Rotarian President Robert Hall, and Helen Liley from the National Star College.
The audience participated by singing the carol Hark the Glad Sound, followed by an invocation. The King’s Harmonists performed their first items. Will Norman played a cornet solo, and Laura Brand presented two vocal solos, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Music of the Night. This was followed by the Gloucester Songsters, who sang How Far Is It to Bethlehem? and The Infant King.
Helen Liley showed a video presentation explaing the needs of the Star College, an independent specialist college working with learners who have physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties, and the reason behind the Charity Concert. The college’s ongoing Star Appeal aims to raise £15.4 million to provide the very best facilities across all areas of college life; £11 million had already been raised and the Christmas concert was another step moving the Star Appeal toward its intended goal. Following the appeal a collection was received.
The concert continued as the audience joined in again, this time with the carol Ding, Dong! Merrily on High. Captain Fred Eardley gave a thought for Christmas, based on the need to help others during this time and throughout the year.
The band played the lively arrangement Three Kings Swing, followed by They Could Not, sung by vocal soloist Laura Brand. A transcription of “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was presented by Will Norman as a cornet solo. The King’s Harmonists presented their second set, and the band followed their performance with the march The Joy of Christmas.
The President of Gloucester Rotary, Robert Hall, shared a vote of thanks as he declared that over £1,300 had been raised for the Star Appeal. This sum received much applause from the pleased audience.
To end the concert, the audience again joined in, to sing the carol Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending, followed by a benediction. The band concluded the evening with the magnificent third section of Eric Ball’s classic, The Kingdom Triumphant.