A capacity crowd at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Corps enjoyed a wonderful evening of music provided by the South London Fellowship Band (Bandmaster Major George Whittingham) and their special guest, Dudley Bright. The concert, for the benefit of the Rosehill Evangelical Mission, was held on 16 April 2010.
From the sparkling rendition of the opening march, Keep Singing, to the moving finale, Eric Ball’ The Kingdom Triumphant, a very high standard of performance was maintained. The program was varied, with items ranging from the contemplative arrangement of Psalm 91 from Mendelssphn’s “Elijah” (arr. Derek Jordan), to the cornet ensemble Over Here, Over There (Norman Bearcroft) featuring folk songs from the UK and the USA, and to Wilfred Heaton’s sublime Just As I Am. The audience also enjoyed the singing of the band, featuring Les Swift as soloists. Roger Gadsden gave a thought-provoking Bible comment.
The special guest for the evening was Dudley Bright, principal trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra and a Salvation Army soldier at the Regent Hall Corps. He thrilled the crowd with his technical virtuosity and expressive playing in two works by Erik Leidzén, Concertino for Trombone and A Never-Failing Friend. The obvious rapport between band and soloist enhanced these items, which were very warmly received.
The proceeds from the evening were in aid of the Rosehill Evangelical Mission, a charity which works with street children and people suffering from leprosy in east-central India. Trevor Austin, who made the moving appeal, was presented with a cheque for £3,030.00 at the end of the concert, which will help the Mission continue its work among these needy people.
In describing the South London Fellowship Band, Dudley Bright said that their music was “played from the heart, not the head.” This was indeed an evening when the Gospel was truly communicated and the audience left feeling inspired and encouraged.
South London Fellowship Band web site, original report by Lynda Spinney