Retirement of Bandmaster Graham Lamplough

Following the commissioning of Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough, the Birmingham Citadel Corps had been waiting for the opportunity to celebrate the service of his predecessor, Bandmaster Graham W. Lamplough. Graham’s ill health prevented this from happening on the same day as his son, Gavin, was commissioned. The opportunity came on Sunday, 12 June 2011, with the support of the Bristol Easton Band, which was visiting Birmingham Citadel for the weekend.

Recent health problems brought an premature end to Bandmaster Graham Lamplough’s hugely successful tenure as Bandmaster of the Birmingham Citadel Band in May 2011, and ended a 26-year incumbency spanning five decades. Since being commissioned as Bandmaster in the 1970s at the Chesterton Corps in Stoke-on-Trent, he became renowned for band training and creative programming.

Whether it was with the Band at the West Midlands Divisional Music School in the 1980s and 1990s, the West Midlands Divisional Youth Band in the 1990s, or, more recently, the Birmingham Citadel Band, Bandmaster Lamplough always endeavored to promote the relevance of the brass band in today’s society. To this end, he looked to balance the traditions and heritage of Salvation Army brass banding with new innovations to reach out and touch the lives of “new” audiences. The legacy he leaves with hundreds of band members is one which will benefit Salvation Army bands for generations and his wit will certainly be missed by the Birmingham Citadel Band as he retires.

Recent highlights with Birmingham Citadel Band include two recordings, Spirit of Joy and Seasons in Splendour, twice-annual performances at Birmingham’s magnificent Symphony Hall, numerous away weekends and evening festivals, the conception of the band’s web site. He masterminded the band’s tour of Canada at Easter 2011, which, due to ill health, he could not participate in. However, he did not let this disappointment halt his drive and determination to fully prepare the band for the tour, and even wave the coach off as it left Birmingham on 15 April 2011. A lesser man may have lost interest because of the frustration of not being able to tour with the band. But Bandmaster Lamplough loves Salvation Army banding, he loves the Birmingham Citadel Band and he epitomizes the band’s motto: “the best is yet to be.”

Birmingham Citadel Band web site