Coventry City Band opened the program with Motivation (William Himes) and went on to present a varied concert, including Salvation Army classics such as the cornet solo Clear Skies (Eric Ball), presented by principal cornet Huw Ellis, and compositions from excellent contemporary Salvationist composers. Martin Cordner certainly falls into the latter category, and his piece Let Everything Praise was a highlight. Other contributions, including Christ-Hymn (Robert Redhead), Swingtime Religion (Barrie Gott) and Trinity (Lorne Barry) reflected the wealth of composers for the Salvation Army.
Bandmaster Fearn also delved into the “classical” repertoire with the finale from the William Tell Overture and Benedictus from “The Armed Man”, which was presented by principal euphonium Marc Jones. Melodies from the musicals included principal horn Catherine Wallis performing On My Own from “Les Miserables”. The wider brass banding movement was represented by the performance of Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Vitae Aeternum, a piece which is quickly becoming a modern-day classic. Further diversity was provided by the vocal solo Jesus Will Still Be There sung by Kirsty Woodhouse.
The visit of the Coventry City Band to Birmingham was made special as several members of that band are former members of the Birmingham Citadel Band, including Bandmaster Fearn, who played soprano cornet in Birmingham for several years before moving to Coventry. While at Birmingham he was also the assistant leader for the Junior Band and the Birmingham Citadel Band is proud to see him doing such a good job in Coventry.
Birmingham Citadel Band web site