The [bclink id=”996″ target=”_blank”] of the Salvation Army (Bandmaster Norry Smith) carried out “A Festival of Music” at Reading Central Salvation Army on 16 October 2010.
The band started the night with the emphatic Prelude on “Tallis” (Peter Graham), followed by a contrasting piece, Written in Red (arr. Dean Jones). A special mention goes to principal cornet Lyndon Bexon, who filled in on soprano cornet for the evening. The latter piece begins with a soprano solo and Bexon played this very quietly and delicately. After this reflective piece William Coe, one of the band’s newest members, prayed for a blessed evening and that someone might come to the Lord during the concert.
Emil Söderstrom’s vintage march Fighting for the Lord came next, followed by the fanfare Hymn and Thanksgiving (Dudley Bright).
The Reading Central Songsters (Songster Leader Karen Smith were on duty for the evening and gave a great rendition of Praise His Holy Name.
The next piece, Vitae Lux (T. Aagaard-Nilsen), featured Fraser Smith on flügelhorn and Peter Best on cornet. Smith started the piece off with a quiet, mellow sound and then Best continued the melody line as the music opened up with the full band joining to create a sumptuous sound.
Many of Reading Central’s congregation turned up to support the band and they sang in good spirit the song “O Happy Day”. After the congregational song the band played Bizet’s Farandole and The Power of the Cross (Paul Sharman).
Nowadays, one does not hear many Salvation Army bands singing, but on this occasion the congregation had a real treat as Lyndon Bexon led the band in singing God’s Love to Me Is Wonderful.
The band’s final piece of the first half was Brian Bowen’s My Comfort and Strength.
At the interval, the band changed out of their “festival reds” and into polo shirts. This was intended to create a more relaxed feel as the the band played a more relaxed and easy listening second half. Items featured included On Parade, The Wellingtonian, El És El Señor, Deep River and Wade in the Water. Reading Central Songsters also sang There Is a New Song.
A special mention goes to Abigail Smith. They Could Not has become a favorite for vocalists in the Salvation Army, but Smith gave this song a breath of fresh air with her ease and delivery of the top notes which this song features. This piece is included on the Winton Bournemouth Songsters’ latest recording, Journey.
Winton Bournemouth Band finished the evening with Temple 85, composed by Norman Bearcroft, who at one time was a percussion player with the band. The band all stood at various points in the march with the players all facing out towards the congregation.
Bandmaster Paul Mortlock of Reading Central thanked the Winton Bournemouth Band for the varied program for both the young and old and stated that he looks forward to their return in the new year.
Submitted by Campbell Smith, [bclink id=”996″ target=”_blank”]