On Sunday evening, 25 September 2010, the [bclink id=”957″ target=”_blank”] of the Salvation Army (Bandmaster Dr. Howard J. Evans) visited Winchester to give a concert in the United Church. The program was well-received by a very appreciative crowd.
The band welcomed three new members who were taking part in their first engagement, having recently transferred to Boscombe. These include Lt.-Colonel David Phillips (from Hadleigh), Nicola Oakden (from Risca) and Matt Worthington (from Blackpool).
The program began with Victors Acclaimed (Bramwell Coles), followed by introductions. Cornet soloist Craig Snell presented Norman Bearcroft’s contemplative solo The Call of Christ, leading into a prayer. The congregation was given an opportunity to participate by singing “All Creatures of Our God and King.”
The band continued the concert with the medley Hymns of Praise (arr. Goff Richards). The second soloist of the evening, John Starkes, performed Ray Steadman-Allen’s well-known euphonium solo The Ransomed Host. This was followed by another Goff Richards arrangement, I’ll Walk with God (Nicholas Brodszky, arr. Richards). The first half concluded with Treasures from Tchaikovsky (arr. Bramwell Coles).
Following the interval, the band started the second half with two light-hearted items, Are You Joyful? (Dudley Bright) and Just Like John (Norman Bearcroft). Another of the band’s soloists, Barry Lawrence (tenor horn), was featured next, playing Demelza (Hugh Nash). This performance was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the concert.
Moving into a more devotional mood, the band next presented another transcription from classical music literature, Denn er Hat Engeln Befohlen (Psalm 91) (Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, arr. Olaf Ritman). This was followed by a Scripture reading by band sergeant Brian Wright. The concert continued with another highlight for many in the audience, Coming Home! (William Thompson), arranged by Kenneth Downie, who is a long-time member of the Winchester Salvation Army corps.
The concert concluded with a piece from the recent Salvation Army repertoire which is rapidly becoming known as a “standard”, Steven Ponsford’s Turris Fortissima. Inspired by one of the true classics of Salvation Army band music, Dean Goffin’s My Strength, My Tower, Ponsford skilfully blends music in the style of Goffin’s work with the contemporary worship song “Shout to the Lord ”, resulting in an uplifting expression of praise through music. The item was an excellent choice by Bandmaster Evans to conclude this concert.
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