The Birmingham Citadel Band (Bandmaster Gavin Lamplough) made a return visit to Rushden on 9 February 2013 and were greeted by a capacity crowd. This was a remarkable achievement for the people of Rushden as it had been a relatively short time since the band’s last visit in 2011.
After a welcome tea, the band entered the packed hall to warm applause and presented a largely new program, with some of the repertoire only prepared within the last few weeks. The opening fanfare of Laudes Domini (William Gordon) made a musical impression and prepared the way as the melody, associated with the words “May Jesus Christ be praised”, reverberated around the hall.
The program included a mix of old and new, energetic and reflective items, with a number of Salvation Army classics. From the beautiful Guardian of My Soul (Darren Shaw) to the classic march The Liberator (George Marshall) there was something for all.
The band’s soloists were in fine form once again. Neil Blessett (tenor horn) played the beautiful traditional melody My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose, which is associated with the words “There is a green hill far away”. Mark Sharman (trombone) presented Peter van der Horden’s arrangement of the moving song Somebody Prayed for Me, after which Neil Blessett spoke on Bible verses connected with this theme.
In the second half, David Taylor (euphonium) played Harlequin (Philip Sparke). It was an exciting performance which was very well-received by the audience, which included euphonium legend Trevor Groom.
The band’s two major works for the evening were the “crowd-pleaser” Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper) and Eric Ball’s timeless masterpiece Resurgam. This was the first time in almost 20 years that the band has featured Resurgam on a concert program, and, while the playing was excellent, the emotion portrayed through the interpretation was breath-taking. Most of the audience were moved to tears after the last chord of Ball’s emotive music and the silence spoke louder than the applause of ten thousand.
Other highlights included They Shall Come from the East (Kevin Larsson) (another first for the band) and Wilfred Heaton’s The Golden Pen.
Full running order of the concert was as follows:
- Laudes Domini (William Gordon)
- Guardian of My Soul (Darren Shaw)
- The Golden Pen (Wilfred Heaton, realized Paul Hindmarsh)
- Green Hill (Norman Bearcroft), Neil Blesset, tenor horn
- Lift Up Your Voice (Stephen Bulla)
- Somebody Prayed (Peter van der Horden), Mark Sharman, trombone
- Resurgam (Eric Ball)
- They Shall Come from the East (Kevin Larsson)
- Fill the World with Glory (Kevin Larsson)
- Celtic Impressions (Barry)
- Harlequin (Philip Sparke), David Taylor, euphonium
- Amazed! (Paul Sharman)
- Soli Deo Gloria (William Himes)
- Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
- The Liberator (George Marshall)
Birmingham Citadel Band web site