SLFB visit to Eastbourne Citadel
Weekend visit to Eastbourne Citadel
15th & 16th July 2017
Saturday 15th July 2017
A warm and balmy welcome awaited the South London Fellowship Band’s visit to the Sunshine Coast and an equally warm and hospitable welcome from Eastbourne Corps as they greeted the band for what would be a great weekend visit under the leadership of Music Director, Darrell Scholes. The band’s visit is a return trip; the last being 4 years ago, almost to the day! No sooner than we arrived, we were treated to a good hearty meal to build up our energy for the festival to follow.
The evening festival kicked off with a bright rendition of the Festival March ‘Celebration’ (Leslie Condon) and immediately the mood was changed by the Song Setting ‘Ask the Saviour’ (Michael Davis) which led nicely into an opening prayer by Craig Finch. This time of meditation concluded with Leslie Condon’s ‘Splendour of Youth’ Suite, the second movement of which allowed the band to reveal it’s reflective nature, in the chorus ‘Lord How I Love You’.
The audience had an opportunity to stretch their legs and lungs with a congregational song ‘I’ll Stand for Christ’ accompanied by the band using a contemporary arrangement of the familiar tune.
Next featured a volley of solo slots for the evening; the first, Alan Moyse (cornet) with Purcell’s ‘Fairest Ilse’ from the opera King Arthur (arr. Ray Steadman Allen); followed by Adrian Horwood (euphonium) ‘Brillante’, a fantasy on Rule Britannia (Peter Graham); and finally Craig Finch (flugel horn) with ‘Concerto de Aranjuez’ (Joaquin Rodrigo) – music featured in the film “Brassed Off”; all of which were well received by the audience.
At this point the band got a well-deserved break – albeit only from playing – as the band sang ‘God’s Love to me is Wonderful’ (Sidney Cox / Dick Krommenhoek) accompanied by the SLFB brass ensemble.
Next came the major work for the evening with ‘Music of a Legacy’ (Steven Ponsford); a demanding composition well handled by the band and features many significant pieces from the Salvation Army’s rich heritage of band music.
The trombone section then delighted us with Stephen Bulla’s trombone feature ‘The Cleansing Power’.
In another change of mood the band presented the very popular and beautifully arranged ‘Prelude on Lavenham’ (Geoffrey Nobes) leading into the scripture and thought by Bev Hudson, from which we were encouraged to utilise our special and unique gifts to enhance His kingdom.
A fantastic start to the weekend and enjoyable evening, brought to a conclusion by the March ‘Light-Bringer’ (Martin Cordner) played with as much energy and vigour as the opening march.
Sunday 16th July 2017
The day began with God – as John Moye led the pre-holiness meeting and reflected on world events, the ministry of the Corps at Eastbourne and the band’s mission for the weekend.
Before the morning meeting, the band played ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ (William Himes) – an amalgamation of Bach’s ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ to a setting of the prayer chorus ‘Jesus, Name Above All Names’. This was followed by Darren Shaw’s moving ‘Guardian of my Soul’, which combines the composer’s own song ‘I Worship You’ with the well-known hymn ‘O Jesus, I Have Promised’, both of which contain the phrase ‘Guardian of my soul’ within their lyrics.
Having set the mood, Adrian Horwood commenced his leadership of the Holiness meeting by conducting the band in an unaccompanied male voice piece ‘Beautiful Christ’ (Ashby / Ray Steadman-Allen), after which Alan Moyse prayed.
After the congregational song ‘I Know Thee Who Thou Art’, Craig Finch had the pleasure of presenting the YP story and chose to use the late-90s TV show Don’t Try This at Home – with the help of two (un)lucky bandsmen – to demonstrate how God can help each of us with our daily lives.
It is always a pleasure to see and hear the host sections taking part in a band-weekend and we were blessed by the Singing Company’s message ‘With All I Am’ (Hillsong Worship) under the leadership of Rebecca Ayling.
The band presented a traditional Welsh lullaby ‘Suo Gân’ (arr. Steven Ponsford) leading into the host Songster’s message ‘Worthy’ (Emma Pears, arr. Simon Gash), led by Mark Ayling.
After the congregational song ‘In Christ Alone’, Adrian presented the bible message and demonstrated through scripture that we are chosen, valued, loved, forgiven by Christ and belong to Him.
As a continuation of the message the band contributed – in what was a highlight of the weekend – the hauntingly beautiful ‘Now I Belong to Jesus’ (Steven Ponsford), exquisitely played and a means of blessing to the congregation. This was followed, after the benediction, by the equally heart-touching ‘Mid All the Traffic’ (Leonard Ballantine).
After sharing coffee with the Corps-folk and being treated to another good hearty meal, the band took to the seafront for their open-air ministry on the Wish Tower Slopes. Tackling the bright sunshine and sea breeze, the band presented a short programme of music to the town folk, most of which was featured during the weekend.
At this point, it should go on record that the band are indebted to the hard work of the Commanding Officer (Major Ivan Oliver) for taxiing the band and instruments back and forth to the seafront to save our aching legs and arms – especially the basses and percussionist!
(Editors insert – Our percussionist, Nigel May, appears to have called on a member of the Skeleton Army to hold his music in this picture!!!
Back at the Hall and following some refreshments, the band set stage for the final meeting of the weekend, commencing with ‘Even Greater Things’ – a great march (as yet unpublished) by Norman Bearcroft featuring the chorus “Give us faith, O Lord, we pray, faith for greater things”.
Led by Roger Gadsden, the meeting again involved the participation of the congregation with ‘And can it be’ to a contemporary arrangement of the familiar tune.
Following the opening prayer and words from scripture, the band commenced a time of reminiscence with Selections ‘The Front Line’ (Leslie Condon) and ‘Songs of Testimony’ (Norman Bearcroft) which sandwiched the contemporary ‘Go Forth in His Name’ (Graham Kendrick) from the host Songsters.
Another opportunity for the congregation to sing with ‘I Stand Amazed in the Presence’ which linked into Rodger’s bible message where he reminded us of the wonder and amazement of being brothers and sisters in God, having a new identity and being part of God’s community.
As a conclusion to the message the band gave a beautiful and spirit-filled rendition of the Selection ‘In Wonder Beholding’ (Leslie Condon). This much-loved composition depicts the awe and adoration of the Christian for God. It produced some of the Band’s best playing of the evening.
The evening and indeed the weekend concluded with Adrian Horwood leading the band singing “A Choral Benediction” (William Himes).
The weekend at Eastbourne was well supported by both local folk and regular band supporters. Their enthusiasm and appreciation shown over the weekend was a great support to the band. The band subsequently received many kind words for our efforts over the whole weekend and the Corps Officers have extended their thanks to the band for their ministry.
The band feels that the weekend was very successful, not only musically, but also a great opportunity for evangelism.
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