The Gloucester Corps hosted the annual Christmas Charity Concert in aid of the Rotary Club of Gloucester’s 2010 appeal for the Willow Trust on 5 December 2010. Over 200 people, including the Sheriff of Gloucester, Rotary President Chris Peak and representatives of the Willow Trust were treated to an excellent evening of music provided by Philip Storer (trumpet, cornet and flügelhorn), Phil Webb (vocal), Sheron Gill and Becky Elliot (piano/guitar duet) and the Gloucester Band and Songsters.
The concert opened with the march Shining Star presented by the Gloucester Band (Bandmaster Clifford Matthews). This was followed by welcome and introductions by bandsman John Smith before the congregation sang, with gusto, the opening song, “Hills of the North, Rejoice”.
The first solo items were performed by cornet soloist Philip Storer, who presented two very enjoyable pieces, Huron Carol and The Christmas Song. The Gloucester Songsters, under the direction of Songster Leader Phil Webb, offered three items, beginning with The Infant King, followed by the powerful On a Night Like This and the lively celebratory piece Come and Join the Dance.
An appeal was made by the Willow Trust, asking for support in raising money for a new life raft for their canal boats. The Trust is a charity that offers freedom for the disabled on the water by providing days out for children and adults with learning and physical disabilities and those who are seriously ill. The Trust has two boats based at Saul Junction, and guests can enjoy the excitement of adventure and the therapy of tranquility in beautiful surroundings – all totally free of charge.
The congregational carol “Hark the Glad Sound” was then sung. This was followed by a thought for Christmas from Major Adrian Allman in which he challenged those present to accept Jesus into their lives today like Joseph did that first Christmas. As the audience took time to reflect on this, the band played For Unto Us a Child Is Born from Handel’s Messiah.
Sheron Gill and Becky Elliot, junior soldiers from the Gloucester Salvation Army, presented for the first time a piano and guitar duet, Winter Wonderland (Dick Smith/Felix Bernard). Philip Storer returned after the duet, this time showing his versatility by performing the second movement of Telemann’s Trumpet Concerto and then switching to flügelhorn for the jazz-style So Glad (William Himes).
Unfortunately, due to ill health, scheduled guest vocal soloist Susan Black was unable to attend the evening. At short notice, Songster Leader Webb agreed to perform two vocal solos, The Three Kings and Thorns in the Straw. The next item was the return of the Gloucester Timbrel Brigade, formerly known as “The Christmas Bells”, now known as “The Christmas Crackers”. The timbrel brigade performed their routine to the march Christmas Joy (Erik Leidzén), and this once again proved to be a big favorite of the audience.
Rotary President Chris Peak said a few words of thanks to everyone from the musicians to those who contributed financially to the appeal. Major Allman was pleased to announce that the concert had raised the sum of £1,700, moving the Trust much closer to their goal of £2,500 for the new life raft.
To conclude the evening, the congregation sang “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending”, followed by a Christmas blessing from Major Allman. The band closed the concert with Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s wonderful collection of Christmas music entitled Christmas Finale.
Gloucester Corps web site