Enfield in Norway

The Enfield Citadel Band (Bandmaster Jonathan Corry) made a four-day tour of Norway, 14 – 17 May 2009, visiting Oslo, Lillehammer and Trondheim.

Thursday, 17 May – Oslo

The band met at Gatwick Airport early on the morning of Thursday, 14 May 2009. After the flight to Norway, the band made the short drive to the Oslo 3 Corps. Following a luncheon, the band donned their festival tunics and assembled on the platform in the Oslo 3 hall for a group photograph, replaying a similar photo taken at the same location in 1975. After dinner, the band returned to the nearly full hall for the evening festival.

The program began brightly with Battle Ready followed by a more peaceful arrangement of They Shall Come from the East. Major works featured during the concert included Beatrice and Benedict, The Present Age, Princethorpe Variations and Quintessence. Soloists Maurice Patterson (cornet), Andrew Justice (trombone), Andrew Scott (euphonium) and John Starkes all performed well. The concert ended in the usual Enfield fashion with The Red Shield.

Friday, 18 May – Lillehammer

The day again started at the Oslo 3 Corps, where the band gathered before heading off for a short sight-seeing tour of Oslo. They then headed north to Lillehammer. Following a quick meal, the band went to the venue for the evening, Lillehammer Church, built in 1882. When the concert began, the hall was full, giving a great impetus to the members of the band.

The evening started with The Joy-Bringer which was immediately followed by the contrasting Spirit of Life. The next item was one of the classics of Salvation Army brass band literature, Eric Ball’s tone poem The Triumph of Piece, with a particulary strong performance by Tim Buckle on soprano cornet. The first soloist of the evening was Andrew Scott, who presented the challenging euphonium solo The Lark in the Clear Air. The next solo, immediately following, was Rejoice, played by Andrew Justice. This was followed by the last movement (“Lord of the Dance”) of Peter Graham’s Cry of the Celts and the final item of the first half of the program, Song of the Eternal.

After a much-needed 15-minute interval, the band returned with A Closer Walk. This was followed by a transcription of Mozart’s overture to The Magic Flute and then the scintillating performance of Simon Jenkins on xylophone playing A Victor’s Palm. A Hollywood reference was given by I Will Follow HIm. The band then presented the finale of Kaleidoscope, which was followed by a contrasting item, another of the Salvation Army’s classics, Dean Goffin’s meditation The Light of the World. This led directly into a brief Scripture reading and devotion, delivered in his usual insightful and relevant manner by the bands’s executive officer, Lt.-Col. Lincoln Parkhouse. The concluding item of the concert was Quintessence, which prompted a lengthy ovation from the audience. Again, the encore was Enfield’s signature march, The Red Shield.

Saturday and Sunday, 16 – 17 May – Trondheim

The band left Lillehammer at 9:30 a.m. for the five-hour journey to Trondheim. For the Saturday evening festival, the venue was packed to capacity. The Nidaros Band “played in” the Enfield Citadel Band with music written especially for the occasion by Paul Sharman. The program began with The Joy-Bringer, followed by The Triumph of Peace. Maurice Patterson played a moving rendition of Don’t Doubt Him Now which left the audience in a reverent silence. Another soloist, John Starkes, gave a brilliant performance of Everybody Should Know. The first half concluded with Cry of the Celts and Song of the Eternal.

Included in the second half were Beatrice and Benedict, the finale of Kaleidoscope, Rejoice featuring trombone soloist Andrew Justice, A Victor’s Palm featuring Simon Jenkins on xylophone, a thoughtful rendition of The Light of the World and the final item, Quintessence. The band gave two encores and the signature performance of The Red Shield.

The final day of the mini-tour was clear and warm, and coincided with Norway’s National Day, an important celebration for the whole country. The Enfield Citadel Band was called upon to represent the Salvation Army by marching in two parades, the first for children and the second for adults. The band covered nearly two miles in three hours of stop-start marching, receiving a tremendous reception from the tens of thousands of local people lining the streets, many dressed in national costume.

In the evening, the band participated in a joint celebration festival with a local church, in which the band presented a mini-concert of the lighter parts of the repertoire, and accompanied the singing of Norweigan national songs.

Enfield Citadel Band web site, original reports by Tim Hynd, Andy Scott, Delia Patterson and Andrew Justice