On Thursday, 13 September 2012, the Chelmsford Citadel Band (Bandmaster Dr. Simon Schultz) was privileged to have a visit from Bandmaster Eilav Herikstad to lead their rehearsal.
After the band’s own conductor warmed up the group with one of Herikstad’s compositions, the simple but effective Teach Me, the esteemed Norwegian visitor took the baton for the remainder of the evening. He took the band through a wide variety of his own compositions. First was The Gospel March, which weaves together hymns ancient and modern. This was followed by Speak to My Heart of Calvary, a significant Easter selection. While taking the band through this piece, Herikstad spoke at length of his personal understanding of the Easter story, encouraging the members of the band to have their own interpretation of what the music might signify and telling them that they should never play a note without it having meaning. He reminded the band that, as Salvation Army bandsmen, they should be more than just musicians, as the music they play is allied to a personal expression of faith.
Two contrasting solos were rehearsed – the jaunty swing number We Will Sing for Eb bass and the slow swing arrangement for flügelhorn of The Old Rugged Cross. The rehearsal ended with the march Shoeburyness, which Herikstad wrote for his friend, Clarence Adoo.
As well as leading the band in rehearsal, Bandmaster Herikstad also shared his thoughts from the Bible, choosing readings from Chronicles and Proverbs. He reminded the band that whatever gifts we are given should be used to serve others. Eilav Herikstad has embodied this principle through many years of dedicated and faithful service to the Salvation Army as a musician, composer, arranger, band trainer and gifted leader and the members of the Chelmsford Citadel Band were the richer for him sharing with them on this September evening.
Chelmsford Citadel Band web site, original report by Ian Arnott