Boscombe 125

The Boscombe Band (Bandmaster Dr. Howard J. Evans) celebrated its 125th anniversary on the weekend of 22 – 23 October 2011. Special guests for the event were Colonels Robert and Gwyneth Redhead.

The weekend actually began with a rehearsal with the Redheads on Thursday. This ended with the band singing The Calvary Track, foreshadowing the special events of the celebration. On Friday evening a dinner for the band and friends was held, with nearly one hundred in attendance.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

On Saturday afternoon, the band embarked on a march of witness through Bournemouth Gardens to the town’s Pavilion. There, the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Chris and Val Rochester, received the Redheads, corps officer Major Peter Mylechreest, Bandmaster Evans, and the organizers of this part of the weekend, Terence Carey and his father, former Councillor Phil Carey, who made the introductions. The band then returned to the Albert Orsborn Memorial Hall for a rehearsal and a typically sumptuous spread for the band and their guests at tea-time.

The evening “Festival of Celebration” featured the Boscombe Band with soloists Barney Lawrence (tenor horn), John Starkes (euphonium) and Craig Snell (cornet). Band items in the first half included Joy through the Ages, written especially for the weekend by Bandmaster Evans, and The Holy War (Ray Steadman-Allen).

Former members of the band joined with the current members for the second half of the program. During this part, former Boscombe bandmasters Kenneth Downie, Roland Wright and Garry Lawrence each conducted a piece – The Joy-Bringer (Kenneth Downie), Light-Walk (Barrie Gott) and Reflections in Nature (Robert Redhead), respectively. Colonel Robert Redhead brought a devotional thought and conducted the enhanced band in the final item of the evening, Leslie Condon’s masterpiece The Call of the Righteous.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday morning worship was unique in concept, with Colonel Robert Redhead using his composition A Pastoral Symphony as the theme. The four sections of the piece were used to frame the Bible message, interspersed with Scripture and dialogue between the colonel and his wife. Particular reference was made to how we serve the present age and the fact that to do so we need to be filled with compassion.

Several members of the band gave spontaneous personal testimony. Songs from the Singing Company, who sang You Are, and the Songsters, who sang Colonel Redhead’s composition One Life to Live, enhanced the Spirit-filled meeting which concluded with several seekers kneeling at the Mercy Seat.

The final meeting of the weekend, in which the Songsters and Young People’s Band also participated, was themed “A Hymn to Christ”. It featured a number of items from the band, including To the Chief Musician (William Himes) and a march, Heritage, written for the occasion by John Meredith, who retired from the band after fifty years of service.

Robert Redhead’s Christ-Hymn, conducted by the composer, brought to a conclusion a momentous weekend where past service was recognized and the future keenly anticipated.

Boscombe Band web site, two posts, including a report by Colonel Ramsey Caffull