140th Celebration Kicks Off with ISB

The International Staff Band (Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb) visited Portsmouth Citadel on the weekend of 26 – 27 January 2013 to mark the start of the Corps’ 140th anniversary celebrations.

A capacity congregation gathered on Saturday evening and enjoyed a fantastic evening of musical ministry under the direction of Bandmaster Cobb and the Staff Band’s executive officer, Major Noel Wright. The evening got underway in style with the exciting march Temple 125 (Kevin Larsson). The Lord Bless You and Keep You, a beautiful song written by Nik and Emma Pears and transcribed by Staff Bandsman Paul Sharman, followed before the evening was presented to God in prayer.

The music and message that flowed throughout the evening continued to inspire and uplift the congregation. Carl Nielsen (cornet) played Victorious (Dean Goffin), a classic theme-and-variations work. Euphonium soloist Derick Kane presented Stephen Bulla’s Air ’n’ Variations. The haunting Irish melody Through the Fair (arr. Chelsea Pascoe) was beautifully presented by Richard Woodrow (flügelhorn).

A mixture of classic Salvation Armt repertoire, such as Victorian Snapshots – On Ratcliff Highway (Ray Steadman-Allen) and Montreal Citadel (Norman Audoire) contrasted with more recent compositions, such as The Day of the Lord (Steven Ponsford) and Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Fire in the Blood. All of these had an equally powerful message and relevance.

The weekend continued on Sunday morning with a packed hall ready for worship under the leadership of Major Wright. The Staff Band helped to settle the congregation for worship with Soli Dei Gloria (William Himes). The piece Consecration (Brian Bowen) was featured during the worship service.

On Sunday afternoon, the Staff Band presented another concert, again featuring a varied mix of classic and contemporary music. The concert started with the traditional march Unconquered (Arthur Gullidge). In stark contrast, the Staff Band then presented Martin Cordner’s recently-composed work Fusion, which takes its inspiration from the old song by General Albert Orsborn, “I Know Thee Who Thou Art”.

Cornet soloist Gavin Lamplough played Tucker (Erik Leidzén) and Jonathan Evans (euphonium) offered Harbour Light (Norman Bearcroft). Other items included The Warrior Psalm (Ray Steadman-Allen) and Darren Shaw’s contemporary setting of his own song, Guardian of My Soul.

The weekend concluded with the Staff Band playing Eric Ball’s timeless classic The Triumph of Peace.

Portsmouth Citadel web site