Gloucester Corps Band Christmas Concerts

The Gloucester Band (Bandmaster Clifford Matthews), like most Salvation Army bands, performed numerous times during the Christmas season. Two of the noteworthy events this year included a concert at the Redmarley Church on 6 December and an annual concert for the benefit of the Meningitis Trust, held at Gloucester Cathedral on 10 December.

On 6 December, the band traveled to the Gloucestershire village of Redmarley. This was the first recorded visit of the band to this town. The concert included a section of favorite carols, with the congregation participating. Band arrangements included The Festive Season, Candlelight Carol (with bandsman Phil Webb providing vocals), On Christmas Day, and Comfort and Joy.

The Corps Band and Songsters joined with several guest musicians at Gloucester Cathedral on 10 December, for the latest in a series of concerts given for the benefit of the Meningitis Trust. Kate Bennett, soprano, sang Little Road to Bethlehem, Mary’s Boy Child, and arias by Puccini and Donizetti. The band provided accompaniment for the principal euphonium of the Flowers Band, Michael Hadlington. Michael played Better World (Norman Bearcroft), The Holy Well (Peter Graham), and a “swing” arrangement of Frosty the Snowman. Woodwinds were represented by talented young clarinetist Alex Balster, who performed Concertino (Weber) and The Snowman (Howard Blake). Also performing was the Stroud High School Choir, singing several items including Gaudete and Silent Night (arr. John Rutter).

Further vocal items, including Mary’s Lullaby (John Rutter) and Swinging with the Saints (Mark Hayes), were presented by the Gloucester Corps Songsters. Band items included Comfort and Joy and Christmas Triptych (James Curnow).

Professor Keith Cartwright, a researcher at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, presented information on behalf of the Meningitis Trust, including recent advances in vaccination against the “C” strain of the disease.

Gloucester Corps web site