The [bclink id=”1009″ target=”_blank”], (Bandmaster Major George Whittingham), spent the weekend of 6 – 7 September 2003, at Plymouth Exeter Hall, Whitleigh Corps. The band performed a Saturday evening festival, participated in the Sunday morning worship service, and supported a “Praise and Salvation” meeting later on Sunday.
Solo items for the Saturday evening festival included Les Swift, who sang A Different Man, Bass in the Ballroom performed on Eb bass by John Rodgers, and John Spicer played the classic trombone solo The Eternal Quest (Ray Steadman-Allen). Other feature items included Pié Jesu, Dave Harrison (soprano cornet) and Reg Elliott (flügelhorn), and the cornet trio Cheer Up played by Doug Minter, Brian Walford, and Brian Hillyer. Major pieces offered by the band as a whole included Just As I Am (Wilfred Heaton) and the final number, James Curnow’s “Jubilation”.
Following the morning worship service, the band went to the Astor Hotel for lunch. During the journey, numerous pieces of fire apparatus were observed speeding through the streets. Upon arrival at the Astor, the band noted that an adjacent building, the Grand Hotel, had flames shooting through the roof. Although the fire did not disturb their meal, it was a major event in Plymouth, eventually requiring fifteen fire engines and over one hundred firefighters, some coming from neighboring Cornwall.
The weekend’s final meeting was of the “Praise and Worship” type. The South London Fellowship Band was joined on the program by the Exeter Hall youth band. Feature items included the euphonium solo Ransomed (George Marshall), played by Bram Chestney; vocal solos by Bill Davis and Les Swift; Doug Minter and Malcolm Shelton with the cornet duet Happy in the Fight; and the cornet trio The Veterans; performed by Eric Rapp, Andy Stewart, and Brian Hillyer. The band’s concluding item was Eric Ball’s classic The King of Kings.
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