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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
Annual SLFB dinner
As the SLFB enters its twenty-sixth year since its inauguration by Major George Whittingham, bandsmen and wives met once again at the Nevill Golf Club in Tunbridge Wells for the band’s annual dinner.
This long established and convivial evening gives the bandsmen an opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ to their wives for allowing them to regularly disappear to band rehearsals and engagements throughout the year. In a band of over 30, the dinner also affords time ‘off-duty’ to engage in fellowship and conversation with fellow band members and their wives in a way which is not always possible during the ‘busyness’ of a hectic band calendar and so find out more about family members, holidays experienced and planned, corps events at the 13 corps in the four different SA divisions represented in the band, and so on.
After an excellent meal, Major Paul Church provided further sustenance in his ‘after dinner’ talk during which he talked about the fellowship and the welcome and encouragement he had received when joining the band. Paul held the attention of the gathering when telling the story of his time in Scotland and the Salvationist lady in Arbroath who was celebrating her 100thbirthday. Expecting only a modest number of family and friends to attend the party, she was amazed to find over 600 people had gathered including SA top brass, civic dignitaries and the local press etc. On being asked if she would like to speak, she enthusiastically took the microphone and forthrightly challenged all present by saying that while she was delighted to see so many joining her at her birthday party, she wondered how many of them she would find joining her in Heaven. Oh that we as a band and in our own lives might be as strong in our faith and so forthright and challenging in our witness and all that we do!
Our thanks go once again to Maurice and Wendy Horwood for organising another excellent evening and we look forward to meeting again next year in the delightfully situated 19thtee of the Nevill Golf Club overlooking the 18thhole.
2019 West Wickham URC
The Band’s annual visit to West Wickham is always keenly anticipated by the members of the Band because we know we are always assured of a good welcome in a building where the acoustics are particularly helpful for brass band performance. The Band have performed concerts here for at least twenty consecutive years, as well as using the Church for several of their recordings. So we hoped that our latest visit would be as well received as previous visits.
The evening commenced on a reflective note with the Eric Ball arrangement of Hugh Roberton’s masterpiece “All in the April evening” – albeit on a fairly chilly April evening. This allowed the Band to settle down and savour the building’s helpful support. This was followed by Howard Davies’s “Songs of Australia” – General series music, but with plenty of pitfalls even for experienced players. A smiling conductor at the end indicated that all the accident blackspots had been safely negotiated. It was interesting to hear “Botany Bay” and “Waltzing Matilda” scored in such a subdued manner within the music, in direct contrast to the rip-roaring manner in which they are usually performed by a typical red-blooded Aussie.
The Band felt a tinge of sadness to be accompanying Craig Finch in the flugel horn solo “Morricone’s Melody”, since this was to be Craig’s last engagement with the Band, at least for the time being. Craig performed beautifully, with his usual innate sense of musicianship.
Further contrast was added with the masterly arrangement of the Beatles “Yesterday” by Goff Richards, one of the finest brass band writers and arrangers of recent times. This is a good example of the way in which so many first-class “pop” songs are now part of mainstream music and are perfectly suitable for performance within a church setting. In a final item before the interval the Band played Albert Jakeway’s arrangement of a number of excerpts from Beethoven’s vast output entitled “Gems from Beethoven”. There is a school of thought which believes that orchestral music should be left solely to orchestras. But Jakeway’s fine arrangement would offer a strong argument that, if skilfully scored, a brass band classical arrangement has much to commend itself in terms of the different sound colours available to brass bands. Hopefully Beethoven himself would not have been too offended by the delicacy of the piano sonata excerpt or the vigorous finale of his seventh symphony. We shall never know!
We commenced the second half of the concert in subdued manner with Leslie Condon’s male voice setting of “When Jesus looked o’er Galilee”, conducted by Adrian Horwood. This turned our minds towards the coming Easter season, and was followed by some choice words from our chaplain, Roger Gadsden. A further subdued contribution from the band was an arrangement by Philip Harper of a traditional north-east folk song entitled “The Water of Tyne”, which has been given a new lease of life by recent recordings.
The mood was changed again for the concluding items based round a “Last night of the Proms” theme. The eager participation of the audience made this an enjoyable few moments for everyone within the church.
However, the highlight of this part of the programme was undoubtedly Adrian Horwood’s rendition of Peter Graham’s taxing and complex Euphonium solo “Brillante”, fittingly based on “Rule Britannia”, and played in Adrian’s customary expert manner.
The audience then responded with their version of “Rule Britannia” before a very enthusiastic “Land of Hope and Glory” brought the evening to a rousing conclusion.
Palm Sunday weekend
The South London fellowship Band commenced a very busy period on the Friday before Palm Sunday, with a musical programme presented at the United Reform Church in West Wickham.
A report of this event will appear here in due course.
On the Saturday, the band was involved in a birthday celebration for one of it’s oldest and longest serving members. Brian Hillyer is erstwhile band librarian and a founder member of SLFB and served as bandmaster at Gravesend Corps for many years. A celebration was arranged by his family for his 90th birthday and a large group of family and friends spent the afternoon celebrating with Brian.
SLFB attended en-masse and were enhanced by a number of friends who brought their instruments to the party and played with us. The afternoon included many ‘light’ numbers from the SA band repertoire following which everyone enjoyed an excellent buffet before joining in a ‘last night of the Proms’ section with guest vocal soloist, Lisa Davis, leading the way and inviting the full group to sing heartily at the appropriate times!
This was a great occasion and everyone is looking forward to a repeat in 10 years time, during which the band will continue to benefit from Brian’s ongoing hard work and organisation of the library as well as many other things.
The following Monday evening saw the band taking part in a programme of Easter music at Royal Tunbridge Wells Corps and enjoying fellowship and worship with the RTW Songster brigade and many folk from the Corps.
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It was an expectant audience who gathered at Royal Tunbridge Wells on the Monday evening of Holy week for an Easter Meditation by the Royal Tunbridge Wells Songsters and South London Fellowship Band.
Anticipation was soon fulfilled and as the evening enfolded us in the timeless beauty and challenge of the melodies and words, it was indeed a time of rich blessing.
The Band opened the evening with the beautiful ”A special moment” and throughout the evening the familiar strains of “I know a fount where sins are washed away, “There’s a wonder working power in the blood of Calvary “and “For our transgressions”, brought us all again to the foot of the cross. The Songsters sang, “For God so loved the world” and “Wondrous cross “which enhanced the sensitive playing of the band.
The evening flowed quietly and unannounced in a sense of deep worship and was greatly enhanced by the superb graphics, which came before us enabling us all to share again the beautiful words to the melodies and evoked how we feel at this time. The evening was skillfully and quietly led by Major Val Mylechreest who challenged us to ask ourselves what Jesus sees as He looks at us. She reminded us that He sees us just as we are and the band then played the beautiful “Just as I am “.
Crosses had been placed on the Holiness table and throughout the evening many of the band, songsters and congregation quietly came forward and took one.
The meeting closed with the Songsters singing, “Tell all the people” challenging us all to share the wonderful message of Salvation for all.
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
- April 2019
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- October 2014
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- November 2012
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