The weather for the evening was rather cold and damp on 10 November 2012, but the visit of the South London Fellowship Band (Bandmaster Major George Whittingham) to St. John the Evangelist Church in Penge was warm and inspiring.
Under the leadership of Associate Conductor Darrell Scholes, the band, concluding its busy schedule of events for the year, began the concert with the rousing march Praise (Wilfred Heaton). The was followed by Paul Sharman’s mellow arrangement of Flow Gently, Sweet Afton before the exciting Overture to “The Magic Flute” (Mozart, arr. Michael Kenyon).
Roger Gadsden, a member of St. John’s Church and a solo horn player in the Fellowship Band, arranged this event. He introduced the guests, 11-year-old cornet soloist Thomas Nielsen and Lt.-Colonel Peter Wood, who served as the compère for the evening.
Nielsen demonstrated that he is already an exceptional young player of great promise with the caprice Zelda (Percy Code). This was followed by Stuart Gilbert (baritone) who presented the solo My Story and Song. Fantasia for Children (Jim Wright) provided an amusing diversion, followed by the trombone section’s smooth version of Over the Rainbow.The song Love Changes Everything was sung, in moving fashion, by Les Swift, and then the Fellowship Band closed the first half of the program in grand style with Variations on “Laudate Dominum” (Edward Gregson).
Spirit of Joy was the rousing march that commenced the second half of the concert. This was followed by the audience joining in singing the hymn “Jerusalem”. In tribute to Remembrance weekend, the band played I Vow To Thee My Country, and then Tom Nielsen presented his second solo, Hosanna (Herbert Mountain).
The American folk tune “Ashokan Farewell” provided a gentle setting for the Bible reading and comments by Lt.-Col. Wood, who spoke on Matthew 11:28–30. This was the context in which Nielsen played Ivor Bosanko’s soulful arrangement of Share My Yoke (Joy Webb).
The final major item of the evening was A London Celebration (Peter Graham) and, following the benediction, the band concluded with How Great Thou Art.
The evening concert had lived up to its title, “Music for Everyone”. As with many of the Fellowship Band’s concerts, admission was free, but a generous response to the charity appeal provided a donation of £419.88 in support of the “Christians Against Poverty” program run by the Church.
South London Fellowship Band