Birmingham Citadel Band at the British Open

Once again, the Birmingham Citadel Band (Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough) commenced its season with an appearance at the British Open contest, held at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on 1 September 2012. The early-morning program, given before the contest begins, is always appreciated by the band, but is always a “shock to the system” so soon after the summer break.

The band was very well-received once again, with many commenting that there appeared to be more people gathered to listen than in previous years – the audience was packed into the foyer for the majority of the concert. The band started with Andrew Blyth’s beautiful arrangement of My Father’s World before launching into the traditional march Rosehill (Albert Jakeway).

Three soloists were featured: Mark Sharman (trombone), Neil Blessett (horn) and David Taylor (euphonium). All of them acquitted themselves well, particularly given the early hour and the knowledgeable audience.

Highlights of the performance included the sensitive playing of Soli Deo Gloria (William Himes) and Victory for Me (Wilfred Heaton), which were very well-received, as was The Kingdom Triumphant (Eric Ball), which somehow managed to hush the expectant crowd - quite a feat!

The band finished with something new for the brass band aficionados – Amazed! (Paul Sharman) – which sent the listeners into the contest with smiles on their faces and a spring in their step. An extraordinary number of positive comments were received following the concert, making it clear why this event is so worthwhile for the Birmingham Citadel Band and for the wider Salvation Army brass band movement.

The Sunday following the contest performance is traditionally dubbed “Band Sunday” at Birmingham Citadel, with the band taking responsibility for leading worship. The morning worship featured a number of items from the band, including Peace by Kenneth Downie, who was present for the service. The morning thought was presented by Bandmaster Lamplough and was centered around the theme “One live to live, may I live for Christ”.

Items played at the Saturday morning concert:

  • My Father’s World (Andrew Blyth)
  • Rosehill (Albert Jakeway)
  • Somebody Prayed (Peter van der Horden), Mark Sharman, trombone soloist
  • Ask! (Peter Graham)
  • Soli Deo Gloria (William Himes)
  • Victory for Me (Wilfred Heaton)
  • Green Hill (Norman Bearcroft), Neil Blessett, tenor horn soloist
  • Harlequin (Philip Sparke), David Taylor, euphonium soloist
  • The Kingdom Triumphant (Eric Ball)
  • Amazed! (Paul Sharman)

Birmingham Citadel Band web site