Songs from the Shows at Birmingham

A packed audience, an estimated 60% of whom where not Salvationists, attended the Birmingham Citadel Band’s 5th Annual Proms Night on 30 January 2010. Bandmaster Graham Lamplough developed the concept “Songs from the Shows” for this year’s concert and the first half reflected an eclectic range of musicals before the promenaders enjoyed all of the usual “pomp and circumstance” in the second half.

During the first half the band drew enthusiastic applause with music from great shows such as Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate and Carousel. The words of You’ll Never Walk Alone were used by compère David Newstead were used to bring home a spiritual message that Jesus is always by our side in whatever circumstance.

Stephanie Lamplough, accompanied at the pianoforte by Patricia Owen, sang beautifully such gems as I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables and a delightfully piquant number entitled Vanilla Ice Cream from the musical She Loves Me.

The lovely euphonium sound of David Taylor was used to great effect with Summertime from Porgy and Bess. Music from the movie Sister Act was also featured with four trombonists combined for I Will Follow Him.

The audience returned from their tea and coffee during the interval to the strains of sir Henry Walford-Davies’ RAF March Past before the Bandmaster led everyone into the music traditionally associated with the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Fantasia on British Sea Songs and Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 were featured with all of the usual accompanying whistles and hoots from the audience. They displayed a marvelous sense of acceleration and rhythmic clapping to the well-known Sailor’s Hornpipe. Stephanie Lamplough also inspired much flag-waving from everyone as, draped in the Union Jack, she gave an athletic performance of Rule Britannia and an exquisite Alleluia (Mozart).

The the audience joined in heartily with Jerusalem and The National Anthem. As the finale, the band played Bramwell Coles’ classic march Under Two Flags as the Salvation Army flag and the Union Jack were paraded in from the back of the hall. The concert was, once again, enhanced by the multimedia presentations prepared by Malcolm Hayward which gave the audience further insight into the music.

Birmingham Citdel Band web site, original report by Fred Crowhurst