Before an audience of some 300 people, the Boscombe Band of the Salvation Army (Bandmaster Dr. Howard J. Evans) were guests in their own hall at a Gala Concert organized by Woodfalls Band, who joined them for an extravaganza evening of high quality brass band musicianship on Friday, 10 July 2009.
The guests soloists for the evening, arguably two of the world’s finest instrumentalists, were Richard Marshall (cornet) and David Thornton (euphonium), both of the Black Dyke Band. The principal conductor and Director of Music for Black Dyke, Dr. Nicholas Childs, conducted the Woodfalls Band in Horizons (Paul Lovatt-Cooper) and Cornet Carillon (Ronald Binge). Woodfalls Band also featured Dean Price’s arrangement of Sing, Sing, Sing (Louis Prima) and concluded with the exciting Toccata from Peter Graham’s Cat’s Tails.
Items from the Boscombe Band began with their opening march, Cairo Red Shield. This was followed by a sympathetic performance of Wonder of It All, which Bandmaster Evans dedicated to the band’s flügelhorn player, Ged Whittingham, who was seated in the audience unable to play following brain surgery. Boscombe’s section of the program concluded with a moving presentation of a Salvation Army classic, Leslie Condon’s The Present Age, into which the bandmaster cleverly wove a passage of Scripture related to the music.
Rapturous applause greeted the breathtaking performances by the guest soloists. Richard Marshall presented Willow Echoes (Frank Simon) and Kenny Baker’s Virtuosity. Contributions from David Thornton included Theme and Variations (Rossini) and another of Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s technically demanding works, ’Neath the Dublin Skies.
The evening concluded with the united bands playing another Salvation Army “oldie”, but one which is ever new, the march Emblem of the Army (Arthur Gullidge). This was followed by a superb performance of Vitae Aeternum, another Paul-Lovatt Cooper composition which has become very popular. As a final, non-programmed item, a setting of How Great Thou Art by Peter Graham was played.
Boscombe Band web site, original report by Ramsay Caffull