Sheffield Citadel Band Visits Birmingham

Birmingham Citadel Band (Bandmaster Graham Lamplough) welcomed the Sheffield Citadel Band (Bandmaster Keith Wileman) on the weekend of 2 – 3 October 2010, for the “return leg” of an exchange between the bands. Birmingham Citadel Band enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Sheffield the previous April, and the return visit was eagerly anticipated.

The weekend started with a festival on Saturday night. The Sheffield Citadel Band got the evening off to a great start with Steven Ponsford’s Turris Fortissima. Written for the Enfield Citadel Band’s tour of the United States in 2007, the music portrays God’s protection. The geographical position of Portsmouth, the composer’s home city, means that at various times in history the city has been the United Kingdom’s first line of defense. However, the city’s forefathers believed that physical security was worthless without faith in God’s protection and this is reflected in the city motto: “Turris fortissima est nomen Jehovah” (The name of Jehovah is our strongest tower), Proverbs 18:10. The music features the contemporary Christian song Shout to the Lord and there is a reference to Dean Goffin’s My Strength, My Tower as the piece builds to its dramatic final bars.

Two solo items followed. Newly appointed principal cornet Adrian Wileman created a reflective atmosphere, playing I Love You Lord. The composer of that solo, Matthew Ingram, then took the stage as he played the euphonium solo Better World (Norman Bearcroft). The audience clearly enjoyed the impressive presentation of this solo from memory!

Other items during the Saturday festival included Glorifico Aeternum (Dean Jones) and Wagner’s timeless Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral. Vicki Lewis gave a thought-provoking short message before, as is their tradition, the band ended the concert with their own march, Sheffield Citadel.

The Sunday morning worship was led by Glyn Evans and Kay Mason. The large congregation enjoyed a varied and challenging time with the Sheffield Citadel Band. The whole weekend was based around the theme of Sheffield Citadel’s latest recording, launched on Saturday evening, entitled “Legacy”. This recording features the music of former Sheffield Citadel bandmaster Jim Wright, who left a musical legacy both at Sheffield and for the wider Salvation Army world. Those gathered were challenged with the question, “What legacy will you leave when your time on earth is over?”

The Sunday evening service took the form of a mini-concert. The Sheffield Citadel Band played music such as Peter Graham’s The Last Amen. Another feature was the cornet duet Quicksilver, also composed by Peter Graham, when Sheffield principal Adrian Wileman was joined by Birmingham Citadel principal Gavin Lamplough. Music from the pen of Jim Wright was also included, as well as Wilfred Heaton’s timeless Just As I Am.

Birmingham Citadel Band web site