The Solent Fellowship Band (Bandmaster John Bird) played the last of a trilogy of late autumn programs at the Gosport Salvation Army Hall on 10 November 2012. Once again, the band demonstrated a flexible approach to differing acoustics, having in recent weeks played in a twelfth-century church, a large hall at a major corps and a more compact accommodation at a smaller corps.
As in previous concerts, the band featured several soloists, including Martyn Thomas with Silver Threads, Callam Carter with An Irish Melody, Dan Redhead with Ransomed and Steve Jones with Share My Yoke. In addition, Adrian Griffiths sang Saviour, Teach Me Day by Day (arr. Geoffrey Nobes) accompanied by David Samuels at the piano. Alex Manning (flügelhorn) was featured in Hine e Hine. Finally, Laurie Finlay, returning to the corps where he first learned to play an instrument and participated in the Young People’s Band at the age of eight, played a delightful Chopin waltz (Op. 69, No. 1) at the piano, completing a fine line-up of much appreciated and well-received soloists.
Also as in previous concerts, the band began with Martyn Thomas’ majestic Fanfare for the Olympics and ended with Finale from “William Tell Overture” (Rossini, arr. Dean Goffin). The program, compèred by Bandmaster Bird, ranged widely, from older works such as Soldiers of Christ (George Marshall) and Philip Catelinet’s fun variations on Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam to more contemporary works such as Praise Party (Steven Ponsford) and On Parade (Eilav Herikstad). Other items included Nimrod (Edward Elgar) and Procession to Covenant (William Himes).
The Elgar selection centered a poignant period of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, for those who have lost their lives in a century of wars. Bandmaster Bird reminded the audience in his introduction to the piece that millions of people from many countries were victims of these conflicts.
During the devotional period, in addition to Steve Jones’ trombone solo, the band sang Softly and Tenderly (arr. Erik Leidzén) accompanied by David Samuels at the piano, and then played the meditation Just As I Am (Wilfred Heaton). Major Derek Smith read from Scripture and spoke of the impact of the First World War on his own family.
At the end of the concert, Captain Janine Lewis, corps officer, Gosport, thanked the Fellowship Band, said final prayers and gave a benediction.
This concert marked the end of the Band’s scheduled for 2012. Playing in several venues throughout the year, the band raised well over £2,500 for Salvation Army and church charitable projects, with the members of the band giving freely of their time and meeting all of their own traveling expenses.
Solent Fellowship Band web site, original report by press secretary Derek Dunn.