On 1 December 2018, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner) was at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, for Joyful & Triumphant, a Christmas concert and carol sing-a-long. This marked the band’s return to the venue, having held Christmas concerts there for several years, with a hiatus in the last few years. The concert was sponsored by the Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Command.
The venue is a somewhat challenging one for the band, being a large open hall with seating all round, so some of the large audience were sitting directly ot the side or even slightly behind the formation. The concert began with a congregational carol, O Come, All Ye Faithful (arr. David Willcocks, trans. James Anderson), followed by words of welcome and an invocation from Captain Donald Dohmann, Central Virginia Area Commander.
The format of the program was for the band to present one or two items, followed by a congregational carol. All of the carols were accompanied by full arrangements rather than using the standard carol books. The first item from the band was the spiritual Sweet Little Jesus Boy) (arr. Joy Webb, trans. Christopher Cole). Next was the congregational carol Angels We Have Heard on High (arr. Steve Kellner).
The only soloist featured on the evening was the band’s principal cornet, David Delaney, who traded his cornet for a flügelhorn to offer I Wonder As I Wander (arr. Harold Burgmayer). The band continued with William Broughton’s unique arrangement of Coventry Carol, and then the congregation joineed in again with Joy to the World (arr. Steve Kellner). This portion of the program finished with a more extended arrangement, Little Drummer Bolero (Davis/Ravel, arr. Steve Kellner).
The band’s executive officer, Major Chris Flanagan, gave a devotioanl thought, followe by the congregation singing Silent Night (arr. Steve Kellner). The band then played what could be considered the major work for the concert, Stephen Bulla’s The Proclamation of Christmas. Captain Dohmann gave some closing remarks, which included information on the Salvation Army’s Christmas efforts in Central Virginia, and gave a benediction, with the congregation singing one final carol, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (arr. David Willcocks/Steve Kellner). As the crowd made its way out of the hall, the band “played them out” with the perennial Christmas march Christmas Joy (Erik Leidzén).
Brass Crest Staff Report