On Saturday, 14 March, the Band (Bandmaster Simon Schultz) was greeted with the unusual sight of a sign reading “House Full” when they arrived at Thorpe Bay Methodist Church for a concert. The performance had been arranged by the church’s Ladies’ Club to benefit a local charity. All 160 seats had been sold in advance and a packed audience waited expectantly for the show to begin.
A video, prepared by percussionist Steve Watson, showing some of the band’s history preceded the entrance of the band who then kicked off the evening with Andrew Mackereth’s On a Mission, a pastiche of John Williams’ theme music for the Indiana Jones film series which utilizes the tunes “We’re an Army Marching for a Glorious King” and “Onward Christian Soldiers”.
The mood was then quieted as the the band used William Himes’ arrangement of He Is Here to remind the audience of the presence of God.
The first half featured some of the individual sections of the band – the horns were featured in Air from the Suite in D (J. S. Bach), a cornet trio (David and Andrew Wright with Ian Wilson) played The Heralds and Garry Smith represented the bass end with the tuba solo Tamburin. Mr. Ian Scott was again a popular vocal soloist with his rendition of Love Changes Everything (Andrew Lloyd-Webber).
The band were conscious of the terrible accident, which had injured many young people and tragically claimed the life of a 14-year old girl, which had occurred about 100 yards from the church eight days before the concert. This event had touched the local community greatly and the church had been open every day since so that young people could pray and reflect together. Garry Smith reminded the congregation that Jesus too cared greatly about children and used a Scripture passage from the Gospel of Matthew to illustrate this point and to introduce Kenneth Downie’s Stars of the Morning, a piece which itself was born out of a tragic loss of young lives. The piece was received sensitively by the audience and served as a fitting period of reflection in an otherwise lively evening. The first half concluded with Heartbeat (Leonard Ballantine).
For the second half, the band changed to a “big band” formation and featured a number of swing-style items, including the trombone feature I Will Follow Him and the Sky rock version of J. S. Bach’s Toccata.
The evening was very well received by a largely non-Salvationist congregation and, most importantly, the sum of £1300 was raised for the local charity Peaceful Place, which provides care and respire for dementia sufferers.
Band web site, original report by Ian Arnott