On 20 April 2002, the [bclink id=”1525″ target=”_blank”] (Bandmaster Paul Adams) traveled to Birkenhead for a weekend visit at the [bclink id=”1526″ target=”_blank”]. The weekend also featured guest speaker Captain Antony Mugford, who was a soldier at Sunderland Millfield prior to his call to officership.
The Saturday evening festival began with a festival arrangement, Let There Be Praise. This was followed by two pieces in a more contemplative mood, ’Mid All the Traffic and a duet arrangement of Pie Jesú, performed by soloists Mark Warrington (cornet) and Neil Gallagher (flügelhorn). The Rock Ferry Songster brigade presented two items, preceded by the Sunderland Millfield Band’s presentation of The Music of Thy Name. Principal cornetist Mark Warrington played the cornet solo Life’s Pageant, followed by Bandsman Alexander Wood, who provided a moment of diversity with a spoken-word monologue.
The band then lightened the mood with a medley of tunes from the Gowans and Larsson musical Jesus Folk, followed by two more excellent soloists: Jonathan Wood, principal trombone, played My Story, My Song, and Band Sergeant Kevin Wilkinson, E-flat bass, played Rondo. The band then began the evening’s devotional period with the suite On the Road, followed by Bandsman Ray Wilson’s vocal rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone. The guest speaker for the weekend, Captain Antony Mugford, set the theme for the weekend with Scripture and words. The devotional period was completed with the moving selection The Road to Emmaus. The festival concluded with the classic march On the King’s Highway.
Sunday afternoon saw another festival, beginning with prelude arrangements of Finlandia (James Curnow) and From Earth’s Confusion (Trevor Davis). The band then presented one of the great classics of Salvation Army brass band literature, Eric Ball’s suite Songs of the Morning. Following a monologue by Bandsman Alexander Wood, the band again showcased its soloists, with Stephen Wilkinson playing the cornet solo Heavenly Gales, and E-Flat tuba soloist Jonathan Gallagher playing In the Army.
These solos were followed by a tone poem, Where Duty Calls, and I Vow to Thee My Country (arranged by Ray Steadman-Allen). More solo talent was displayed by Mark Warrington and David Wilkinson, performing the cornet duet Deliverance. A devotional period was introduced by the band piece Shall We Gather, followed by a male voice selection. The Corps Officer of Sunderland Millfield, Major Eddie Arnold, provided Scripture and comments. The band concluded the devotional period with an arrangement of the beloved song by Sidney Cox, Deep and Wide. As the audience filed out (to a “faith tea”), the band encouraged them to Dance Before the Lord (Peter Graham).
Rock Ferry Band web site