Cannock 125

On 6 February 2010, a festival celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Cannock Citadel Band was held, featuring the Enfield Citadel Band (Bandmaster Jonathan Corry).

The concert stepped off with the march Cornerstone (Andrew Mackereth), followed by the second movement, Sacrifice, from William Himes’ suite To the Chief Musician. Following introductions and an invocation, the festival continued with the first of several transcriptions from the classical repertoire presented during the evening, the overture Beatrice and Benedict (Hector Berlioz, arr. Keith Wilkinson).

Contributions from two of the Enfield Band’s outstanding group of soloists were next. Recently appointed principal cornet Maurice Patterson presented Don’t Doubt Him Now (Leonard Ballantine, arr. Craig Woodland) and principal trombone Andrew Justice played Concert Piece for Trombone (Alexandre Guilmant, arr. Ray Steadman-Allen). These solo items were followed by Bach’s Fugue in D minor (arr. Ray Farr).

The first half concluded with one of the great pieces, not just of the Salvation Army literature, but of the brass band repertoire as a whole. Eric Ball’s tone poem Resurgam, despite having been composed over fifty years ago, is still a powerful and wonderful example of brass band composition.

Following the interval, the band brought the audience back to attention with a march written for the 125th anniversary of Cannock Citadel Band, Cannock 125 (Dave B. Elliott). Next was another classical transcription, Excerpts from “The Little Russian” (Tchaikovsky, arr. William Gordon).

Two more soloists were featured in the next portion of the program. Paul Baker, on euphonium, played Norman Bearcroft’s Harbour Light. The xylophone feature A Victor’s Palm (James Curnow) was presented by Simon Jenkins. Philip Wilby’s arrangement of Wondrous Cross was next, leading into a Scripture reading.

The festival concluded with an item which has attained the status of a modern classic in the Salvation Army band repertoire. Shine As the Light, written by Peter Graham, an innovative and original piece, is a perfect foil to Resurgam, framing the concert with an expression of both the traditional and progressive elements of Salvation Army music-making, a fitting end to a festival celebrating a band with 125 years of history.

Enfield Citadel Band web site