Portland 125th Features Boscombe Band

The Boscombe Band (Bandmaster Dr. Howard J. Evans) undertook their first “away” engagement of 2010 on 27 March, visiting Portland to celebrate 125 years of Salvation Army service in that place.

In the afternoon, the band marched from the Salvation Army citadel, which, sadly, is no longer in active use, to Easton Square, where at Easter in 1885 the Army “opened fire” on the Isle of Portland. The open-air service was well-attended by local people who had been attracted by the sight and sound of the band marching down the road. The service included “The Eden Above” which was the first song to be sung at that location by the Salvation Army pioneers 125 years previously.

In the evening, the band played to a very enthusiastic and appreciative audience in the Easton Methodist Church, where the small group of Salvationists now have their “home”. The program was chaired by the Divisional Commander, Major Neil Webb.

The concert began in a traditional fashion, with a festival march, Washington Salute 125 (Stephen Bulla). Following introductions and prayer, the festival continued with a recent composition by Dudley Bright, Paean and a congregational song, “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”. The first soloist of the evening was Craig Snell (cornet), who played Glory to His Name (Eric Ball).

Other items in the first half included All to Jesus (Eiliv Herikstad) and Hymns of Praise (arr. Goff Richards). The major work of the first half was Robert Redhead’s Quintessence.

Following the interval, the second half started with an “Army classic”, Erik Leidzén’s Steadily Onward. Next two more of the band’s soloists were featured, Barney Lawrence (tenor horn) played Demelza (Hugh Nash) and John Starkes (euphonium) offered ’Neath Dublin Skies (Paul Lovatt-Cooper).

The devotional portion of the program was comprised of the band playing Myfanwy (Joseph Parry, arr. Kenneth Downie), a Bible reading by Lt.-Col. John Pearce Haydon and another work by Kenneth Downie, the meditation Even Me.

The finale of the concert was a major work by promising young Salvationist composer Steven Ponsford, Turris Fortissima. Following the benediction, the band sent the audience home in fine fashion with I’ll Walk with God (Nicholas Brodszky, arr. Goff Richards).

Boscombe Band web site

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