Monthly Archives: April 2013
(Adapted from an article to appear in the April edition of the Emmanuel United Reformed Church magazine written by the editor Charles Sebestyen)
An Excellent Evening
We knew it would be good. But not that good. Although we didn’t have details in advance, we knew that the programme would be excellent. And it was. And we knew that we would enjoy ourselves. And didn’t we just?
As we gathered at Emmanuel United Reformed Church at around 7.30pm the church was filling up, and by 7.45 empty seats were few and far between. The last strains of the musicians fine tuning their music faded away and the full band, led by their founder and conductor, took their place. A few seconds later, the joyful sound of ‘76 Trombones’ filled the church (and the neighbouring streets?) making it clear that this would be no ordinary occasion.
Next a moving cornet solo (‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’ – Alan Moyse), then the male chorus in a beautiful rendering of the Lord’s Prayer, followed by a cheerful and evocative medley of childhood music (‘Fantasia for Children’).
Then came the soloists’ spot starting with Thomas Nielsen who gave us an inspired rendition of ‘Hosanna’ on his cornet. A maestro musician of great talent and experience? Maestro – yes, Talent – yes, Experience – yes, all the more amazing given that Thomas is all of twelve years old!
This was followed by a succession of more instrumental and vocal soloists – Adrian Horwood (Euphonium) with ‘Song of the Brother’, John Rodgers (Eb Bass) with ‘Standing on the Promises’ and Colin Richardson (Vocal) with ‘How deep the Father’s love for us’, followed by the trombone section playing ‘Trombone Vespers’; giving way to energetic orchestral music by the full band in ‘Melodies of Dvorak’.
It was then the audience’s turn to perform by singing ‘God is Love, let Heaven adore Him’ followed, once again, by our experienced and mature soloist of 12 years of age playing ’Share my Yoke’ and coaxing beautiful sounds out of his cornet in the process.
Following the march ‘The Champions’, Thomas presented another cornet solo, ‘Zelda’, once again showing his mature musical ability. Thomas was then joined for an ‘extra’ item by his father, Carl Nielsen, and the band’s associate conductor, Darrell Scholes, in the cornet trio ‘The Veterans’.
Phil Edwards then provided a reading from The Bible, following which the male chorus gave a moving performance of ‘Rock of Ages’ and, bringing the concert to an end, the Band presented an enthusiastic rendering of ‘To God Be the Glory’.
After such an occasion, it is difficult just to go home without transition and, thankfully, this was provided by the post-concert refreshments and fellowship organised by Emmanuel.
There was, as usual, a collection half way through the concert – this yielded £450 to be split equally between the Band and Emmanuel.
Horror of horrors!! I’ve just realised that I have failed to identify the Band and the Conductor anywhere in this article. But I know that most of you have guessed – it could not have been anything other than the South London Fellowship Band – under the baton of Major George Whittingham, performing at Emmanuel for the nineteenth consecutive year. Thank you George and Band. Roll on the twentieth!