On 3 March 2012, the [bclink id=”962″ target=”_blank”] (Bandmaster Jonathan Corry) joined with Ken Lodge and The Dedicated Divas (Leader Tina Shepherd) for the 12th Annual Helen Rollason Concert. The event was held at St. Andrew’s Church and the compère was Ian Wyatt of BBC Essex.
The [bclink id=”1042″ target=”_blank”] was founded in 1999 as the legacy of Helen Rollason MBE. The charity funds three initiatives: cancer support centers, clinical drug trials and the Helen Rollason Research Laboratory in Chelmsford.
The band began the program with the classic march Rosehill (Albert Jakeway) and the contrasting traditional song Come, Beautiful Christ. After some words of welcome, they continued with Wilfred Heaton’s arrangement of Victory for Me.
Ken Lodge was next, with a presentation of The Baboon who wanted to fly to the Sun, after which the band offered the slow-jazz arrangement Deep River (Bill Broughton).
Formed nearly five years ago, the Dedicated Divas are a group of female vocalists all with ties to the Salvation Army. They sing both secular and sacred arrangements, and have been featured locally and as far as Belfast and Amsterdam. For their first set of the evening, they performed three items: Great Great Morning (Williams), Life in Thee (arr. Skinner) andMy Boundless Treasure (Gilbert & Sullivan). The band then concluded the first half of the program with Barrie Gott’s popular arrangement Light-walk.
Following the intermission, the band brought the audience back with I Will Follow Him (Stole/Roma). Ken Lodge then gave his second reading, Macavity: the Mystery Cat (T. S. Eliot). The Divas returned for another set of three songs, including Wonderful World (Armstrong), Ascot Gavotte (Lerner/Loewe) and Get Happy (Koehler/Arlen).
Just before Verena King brought a “Pause for Thought”, the band set the tone with David Catherwood’s Spirit of Life. Following King’s remarks, the band concluded the evening’s program with The Last Amen (Peter Graham).
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