Welcome to our Web Site, where we hope to keep you up to date with our aims, activities and
events, so please keep in touch through these pages and feel free to contact us at any time
Visitors are always welcome to our rehearsals which are held on the second and fourth Mondays
of each month at the Bromley Temple Salvation Army Hall, Ethelbert Road, Bromley BR1 1HU.
The SLFB is open to mature, competent players who fall into one or more of the following categories-
i) are active, retired or former Salvation Army bandsmen
ii) are members of or regular attenders at other churches
iii) are sympathetic to The Salvation Army’s ethos and are committed to the Christian faith
Open Rehearsal 27th November 2017Our next rehearsal is the final one of 2017 and will be an ‘open’ rehearsal. It is therefore open to all whether you would like to bring an instrument and play or sit, listen and enjoy the fellowship.
The music to be rehearsed will be largely from the Christmas repertoire so take this opportunity to get ‘in the mood’ for the festive season.
We look forward to seeing anyone who is free on 27th November 7 p.m. at The Salvation Army, Bromley
(address shown above).
SLFB Saturday Evening at Sittingbourne
A great evening of music making, with music to cater for all tastes. Music that was played with sensitivity and skill in equal measure. That summed up the evening enjoyed by Sittingbourne Corps which had been arranged as a way of raising funds for the Big Collection.
Prior to the concert the Band were fed and watered by the Corps folk in readiness for the 7.00pm start. Up first was one of my favourite Marches-Celebration-by Major Leslie Condon. For a March that is now 40 years old it rightfully stands as No.1 in the list of all time SA Band Marches. It was played with skill and dexterity. A great start.
Next up was a Kenneth Downie Arrangement-All for Thee- simple in its composition but an arrangement I’d not heard before. Our Corps Band may take a look at this soon!
After a prayer and congregational song-I’ll Stand for Christ Alone-the Bandmaster Darrell Scholes introduced the Suite-Crystal Tide- by Bandmaster James Wright. It featured the old Gospel Songs, Down where the Living Waters Flow, Shall we Gather at the River and Way over Jordan.
New technology greatly aides worship in many ways and the visual presentation provided by Major Graham Kinsley showed the words associated with many of the pieces during the evening. This is such an effective way of bringing music to life and understanding what the composer is trying to say. It takes a lot of work (and know how) and was a great addition to the worship of the Band.
The next two items were the evenings featured soloists-Adrian Horwood on Euphonium playing Canaan’s Land and John Rogers on Eb Bass playing a little know Mozart Aria. As a long-standing Euphonium player that is now playing Eb Bass both these items held my full attention. Adrian for his technical ability and particularly lovely playing of the middle movement-A little star peeps o’er the Hill, and John who produced a wonderful full Bass sound on a sparsely used Solo instrument.
The first of two male voice items-Gods Love to me is Wonderful-with Brass Accompaniment and arranged by Dirk Krommenhoek is a foot tapping arrangement. The Bandmaster sat down next to me and I hope he wasn’t put off by me singing along!
Alone Yet Not Alone was premiered by the Band. An arrangement that had very much a Celtic Feel to it and which I am sure will be used by more Bands in the future. Special praise to the 1st Baritone (John Clarke) who starts the piece on his own.
A Pilgrim Song is a cleverly written variation associated with the words-He who would valiant be gainst all disaster. Arranged by Thomas Rive is has interest for the whole Band where different sections are featured. Another piece that bought back memories to me of playing this.
Following a well-deserved interval with an Army Cup of Tea, the Band started the second half with Kevin Larsson’s-On we March. To the discerning Brass band enthusiast, he has a particular writing style with a particular love of triplets. His music is always exciting and was well played by the Band.After a congregational song, In Christ Alone, the Band went back in the journals to play Norman Bearcroft’s Songs of Testimony. No doubt many of the Bandsmen had played this many a time, but the message is timeless- “You can tell out the sweet story. You, Yes You!” Once again the music was well played.
The trombones featured in a Classical arrangement of Panis Angelicus and I mentioned that it was nice to hear 5 Trombones and how at Sittingbourne we’d happily take them on a transfer!
The next items had a degree of poignancy to the Band. This was their first engagement following the sudden passing away of Simon Birkett a few months earlier. Simon had played Euphonium with the Band and it was a shock to all that at 47 a father, son, husband and great musician had gone to be with his Maker. One of Simon’s favourite pieces was the beautiful arrangement Lavenham. The story on how it was written and its enduring legacy to the Corps at Lavenham was talked about. This is such a lovely arrangement to listen to as well as play and was complemented by the extremely challenging words. The silence at its conclusion said it all. In the same vein the Band sang When Jesus looked O’erGalilee which finishes with the triumphant line- “The Lord shall live again”. The final foot-tapping item to round off the evening was the lively festival march Light-bringer bu Martin Cordner.
While giving the thanks I mentioned that there must be around 5000 Salvation Army Brass Band publications just produced in our Territory so It can be difficult to choose and construct programmes to please the listener. The Bandmaster and Band got it spot on and everybody whom I spoke to said what a wonderful evening it was. That’s a credit to the Band and the Bandmaster.
The sum of £449.35p was raised during the evening towards the Army’s work in the UK. We give thanks for the generous giving and what was a fantastic Saturday Night provided by the South London Fellowship Band.
Paul Newman (Deputy Bandmaster, Sittingbourne)
Upcoming events for December 2017:
St John the Evangelist Church Penge SE 20 7EQ
Readings from A Christmas Carol, Carols and Band items with the
South London Fellowship Band
Come dressed as a Dickens Character (prize for best dressed)
SLFB latest CD
A South London Celebration
‘There can be no doubt that the ‘fellowship’ band is a true success story in the life of Salvation Army music making’; so says the opening paragraph in the booklet of the South London Fellowship Band’s latest CD, A South London Celebration, and is a fair statement to make. Many areas across our Territory now have Fellowship bands in which current and former SA bandsmen, alongside friends of the Army, can meet together, play music and share in fellowship with each other.
This CD, the seventh to be released by the band since their formation 23 years ago (and the first under the leadership of Darrell Scholes), features music exclusively composed for The Salvation Army by SA musicians. From Arthur Gullidge in the 1930s to Steven Ponsford, one of the current crop of young composers, the works featured span nearly 80 years and are just a small sample of the legacy of music that The Salvation Army is justifiably proud of.
The march Southern Australia is one that, in my opinion, is not heard often enough and gets the CD off to a bright start, with tight rhythmic playing throughout. The other march on the CD is Light-bringer by Martin Cordner. In recent years, Martin has shown a real gift in writing marches for the modern era and Light-bringer is one fine example of this.
Two of the bands soloists are featured. Firstly, principal cornet Alan Moyse presents a beautiful, sensitive rendition of Kenneth Downie’s setting of Healing Waters. The band’s principal euphonium player, Adrian Horwood, features Peter Graham’s Canaan’s Land which was originally written for Derick Kane, whose informative programme notes in the booklet give good insight into the music featured on the CD. Adrian overcomes the musical and technical challenges of the solo to give a first-rate performance. Mention must also be made of Adrian’s partner on the euphonium bench, Simon Birkett, who provides a lovely instrumental backing to Norman Bearcroft’s arrangement for male voices of The Calvary Track. Also featured is the band’s trombone section playing The Cleansing Power by Stephen Bulla.
As a young bandsman at Regent Hall, I remember playing A London Celebration, a piece written by our then Bandmaster, Peter Graham. The piece features numerous traditional songs, show tunes and TV themes associated with London and, in those days, it was accompanied by slides (literally!) of photos of famous London landmarks. It’s great to hear this again and pick out all the melodies that are contained within and it really is an enjoyable piece to listen to.
James Wright’s Fantasia for Children is a fun piece which features a number of Sunday school choruses and really comes to life in the hands of this slightly older group of musicians!
Michael Davis has, over the last few years, written a number of beautiful arrangements that have been published in the Triumph and General Series and his setting of Ask the Saviour is sensitively handled by the group. Going back in time, Dean Goffin’s meditation The Compassionate Christ is given a similar treatment, with some lovely solo lines and good ensemble playing. The more extended meditative work, My Comfort and Strength, gives the group an opportunity to show its musicality and good dynamic range. In particular the final verse is triumphant without being overblown, saving the climax until the concert Db major chord in the penultimate bars.
In Steven Ponsford’s Music of a Legacy there are references to SA classics that many of this band will have played numerous times in their original form and Steven’s clever writing has brought these once again to mind. The band handles the technical passages well and gives a convincing performance of this well-constructed work.
A few intonation issues aside, the band sounds in good form, playing with a musicality one would expect from the many years of experience that exists behind the stands. Good use of dynamic contrast is evident throughout and there is a certain vitality about the playing. The programme is interesting and varied, with something for everyone.
We are proud to announce the launch of our new CD, A South London Celebration
For full details and how to obtain your copy (£12.95 each), please click here
We have now added a Photo Gallery to our website which you can open by clicking on the button at the top of this page. If you view these as a slide show, you will get the benefit of seeing the images in full screen
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- December 2016
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- October 2015
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- October 2014
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- November 2012
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