Cornetist Thomas Fountain was the guest soloist at this year’s Annual Spring Festival held by the Enfield Citadel Band (Bandmaster Jonathan Corry) on 31 March 2012 at Enfield Baptist Church. This was the latest in a popular series of events presented by the Enfield Citadel Band and Songsters featuring young, up-and-coming soloists from around the United Kingdom.
Fountain, 15, is a junior soldier at the Kettering Corps, where he plays in the Young People’s Band. The Fountain family is well-known for cornet playing, with Thomas’ mother, father and brother (Cathy, Gary and James) all excellent players. In addition to playing with his corps youth band, Thomas is the flügelhorn player for the championship section Virtuosi GUS Band, making his debut with that group at the National Finals in Royal Albert Hall. He is also principal cornet of Youth Brass 2000 where he has received numerous awards.
The band started off the festival with three items in contrasting styles. First up was A Fanfare of Praise (Robert Redhead). The mood was then turned to a more contemplative one with Richard Phillips’ arrangement of Come, Beautiful Christ. The third item, Deep River (William Broughton), is a slow swing piece reminiscent of Count Basie.
The first solo from the guest artist was Peter Graham’s exhilarating Whirlwind. This was followed by a set of songs from the Enfield Citadel Songsters (Leader Tina Shepherd), which included Swing Low (arr. Leonard Ballantine), Good Soldiers Never Look Back (Howard Davies, arr. Leonard Ballantine) and A Gaelic Blessing (John Rutter). Fountain’s second offering, Don’t Doubt Him Now (Leonard Ballantine, arr. Craig Woodland), was the penultimate item of the first half.
The major work and concluding item of the first half of the festival was Kenneth Downie’s Purcell Variations.
The band commenced the second half with a classic Salvation Army march, Rosehill (Albert Jakeway) and the trombone feature I Will Follow Him (arr. Goff Richards). The songsters returned for another set, which included It Is Well with My Soul (arr. Graeme Press) and O That Will Be Glory (Charles H. Gabriel/Tom Matsumura).
The band offered Kenneth Downie’s meditation In Perfect Peace as a lead-in to a Scripture reading. The was followed by the last item from Thomas Fountain, Rusalka’s Song to the Moon (Antonín Dvorák). The final item of the evening was Peter Graham’s The Last Amen.
Enfield Citadel Band web site