Canadians Help Celebrate 124 Years in Norwich

The Ontario Central Reservist Band (Bandmaster Geoff Norton) was the special guest ensemble for the celebrations of the 124th anniversary of the Norwich Citadel Band.

The festival weekend began with a concert featuring the Ontario Central Reservist Band. Solo items included Deputy Bandmaster Gary Dean playing the exciting cornet solo Jubilate (Arthur Gullidge), Norm Ritson playing Count Your Blessings, and vocal soloist Norm Kinney, who sang Love Changes Everything (Andrew Lloyd Webber, arr. Stephen Bulla). Items from the full band included Swingtime Religion (Barrie Gott), Songs of the Soldier (Charles Skinner) and New Frontier (William Himes). The Norwich Citadel Band also performed, offering Power Praise (Andrew Mackereth). Following an interval, the bands squeezed onto the stage together and presented massed items, including Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (Richard Wagner, arr. William Himes), Wilfred Heaton's classic march Praise. The concert ended with the massed bands offering Kenneth Ketteringham's arrangement of St. Clements as a benediction.

On Sunday, the Canadian band were featured in the worship services, led by their Executive Officer, Lt.-Colonel Hugh Tilley. For many of the Canadian musicians, the highlight of the day was a march with the Norwich Citadel Band from the Citadel to the city centre for an open-air service.

Following the evening service, a unique event entitled the “Musikcafé” was held, featuring musicians from both the Canadian and English bands. Highlights included a tenor horn solo from Ian Watkinson (formerly of the renowned Tottenham Citadel Band), and the cornet solo Zelda, performed by Deryck Diffey, also a former member of the Tottenham Citadel Band and former principal cornet of the Canadian Staff Band. Richard Woodrow, of Norwich Citadel, persuaded his father, David Woodrow and Ontario Central player Gary Dean to join him for the trio Silver Threads, which ended with all three players blowing their own horns while working someone else's valves. Another light-hearted novelty item was a challenge in which sextets from each band attempted to play Eric Ball's march Star Lake as fast as possible, with the Canadians winning with a time of 1:23, to the Norwich sextet's 1:32.

Norwich Citadel Band web site