Passing the Baton at Bellshill

A capacity congregation gathered at Bellshill Corps on Saturday, 19 January 2013 to mark the retirement of Ian Dickie after 20 years of service as Bandmaster and 35 years of service as a music leader in the Corps.

The band presented a well-balanced program, chosen by Bandmaster Dickie, reflecting sone of his favorite pieces as well as the four recordings made by the band during his tenure. These include The Call of the Righteous, The Lion King, Fanfare, Hymn and Thanksgiving and the timeless meditation The Light of the World, which again brought immense blessing.

The band’s soloists were in fine form. Principal cornet Yvonne Ferguson presented Clear Skies (Eric Ball), Chris Shanks (euphonium) offered the classic The Song of the Brother (Erik Leidzén) and Lynn Shanks (flügelhorn) contributed I Don’t Know How to Love Him. Guest vocal soloists Olwyn Mathie and Gemma Gunn sang Written in Red and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, respectively.

Retired Band Sergeant Sam Ritchie brought greetings from friends and former band members who were unable to be present and thanked Bandmaster Dickie on behalf of the band before former Bellshill commanding officer Major Alex Still presented the retirement certificate.

The following Sunday morning (Commitment Sunday), Yvonne Ferguson was commissioned as Bandmaster by Major Helen Bryden (R). Prior to her appointment, Ferguson served with distinction for ten years as Young People’s Band Leader at Bellshill, during which time she led spiritually and musically many current members of the senior band. A fourth-generation Salvationist, Ferguson worships at the corps with her husband, David, and her daughters, Claire and Emma, who are members of the band. She also enjoys her role as songster accompanist.

Ferguson studied trumpet and piano and holds a Fellowship of the Trinity College of Music (London) and is a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and London College of Music. By profession, she is a teacher and currently holds the position of Principal Teacher of Guidance and Pupil Support.

Following the appointment of the new bandmaster, a number of changes have been made within the band. Joanne McMillan replaces Bandmaster Ferguson as principal cornet, moving from soprano cornet. Amy McMillan moves from solo cornet to soprano cornet and Robert Gardiner moves from solo cornet to first baritone. Daniel McMillan moves from first to solo cornet. Jim Crombie has retired from the band and Ernest Hamilton moves from tenor horn to Eb bass. Ron, Robert and Andrew Butters have rejoined the band after transferring back to the Bellshill Corps and are playing second trombone, first cornet and second cornet, respectively.

Bellshill Band web site