With empty seats few and far between in the church hall, the joyful sound of 76 Trombones announced that this would be no ordinary occasion.
Following the exciting beginning, the concert flowed into a moving cornet solo, I’d Rather Have Jesus played by Alan Moyse, and the band’s male chorus singing a beautiful rendition of The Lord’s Prayer.
The concert then took a youthful turn, with the cheerful and evocative medley of childhood music, Fantasia for Children. This served as an introduction to the special soloist for the evening, Thomas Nielsen (cornet), who gave an inspired rendition of Hosanna. This strong performance, showing musical talent and experience, was even more amazing when it was noted that Nielsen is only 12 years of age.
This was followed by a succession of instrumental and vocal soloists. Adrian Horwood (euphonium) played Song of the Brother (Erik Leidzén). John Rogers (Eb bass) offered Standing on the Promises and Colin Richardson (vocal) sang How Deep the Father’s Love for Us. In addition, the trombone section was featured in Trombone Vespers. The parade of soloists and feature items was capped by an example of orchestral music from the full band, Melodies of Dvorak.
It was then the turn of the audience to perform, singing “God is love, let Heaven adore Him”, before Thomas Nielsen returned with the lyric solo Share My Yoke, coaxing beautiful sounds from his cornet. Following a march from the band, The Champions, he played one of the standards of the brass band cornet literature, Zelda, once again showing his mature musical ability. An “extra’ item was next, with young Nielsen joined by his father, Carl Nielsen and the band’s associate conductor, Darrell Scholes, with the cornet trio The Veterans.
Phil Edwards provided a Bible reading, following which the male chorus gave a moving performance of Rock of Ages. Bringing the concert to an end, the band presented an enthusiastic rendition of To God Be the Glory.
As is customary at this event, a collection was accepted, with the £450 raised from the evening equally split between the South London Fellowship Band and Emmanuel United Reformed Church.