Monthly Archives: December 2016

Visit to Gravesend – 26th November 2016

The Band was pleased to accept another invitation to visit the Gravesend Corps to provide a festival of music on Saturday 26th November.  Words of welcome were expressed by Corps Sergeant Major Richard Arnold and the music was keenly anticipated by the congregation.

The March ‘Even Greater Things’, written a number of years ago by Norman Bearcroft [now resident in the USA], got things off to a good start, with many of the Bearcroft ‘foot tapping’ characteristics.

This was followed by an arrangement of ‘Every time I feel the spirit’ by the band. This is quite reflective music, again by Norman Bearcroft, and it created an atmosphere of reverence for prayer.

The congregation sang ‘Who is on the Lord’s side?’ to a foot tapping arrangement by Richard Phillips, which was followed by the Cornet feature ‘Heralds of Victory’[Richard Holz] played by the Solo Cornet section.  Items such as this are well received.

GRAVESEND SONGSTERS SANG two songs in contrast [i] Would you know and[ii] That’s a difference

The first solo spot of the evening went to Adrian Horwood who played Peter Graham’s Euphonium Solo ‘Canaan’s Land’. This is a demanding solo which, as is usual, was superbly presented by Adrian.

Next came the ‘big piece’ of the evening – ’ Treasures from Tchaikovsky’ arranged many years ago by Colonel Bramwell Coles who, at the time was Head of the Salvation Army’s Music Editorial Department.  These well-known melodies provide an excellent ‘pot pourri’ of music from this wonderful Russian composer.

It was good to hear the congregation singing ‘Jerusalem’ by Hubert Parry during which a collection was taken up.

Simon Birkett’s beautiful rendering of the piece ‘In Gardens of Peace’[ arranged by Philip Harper] was thoughtfully played. A key feature of this music is the high register lyrical playing by the soloist which Simon presented with great control and feeling.

A fairly recent addition to the band’s repertoire is the superb music entitled ‘Ashokan Farewell’ by Jay Ungar, arranged by Alan Fernie. The congregation really appreciated this lyrical music-as did the players-which seeks to remind the listener of the wonders of nature…’the sun is sinking low in the sky above Ashokan…’  This was thoughtfully appreciated by the congregation.

Bearing in mind that Christmas 2016 was less than a month away, the band presented the Overture ‘The Proclamation of Christmas’, a demanding, up-beat arrangement by the American Salvationist Composer Stephen Bulla.  This is challenging music to play and great to listen to and it was well received.

GRAVESEND SONGSTERS SANG ‘Gift wrapped love’. Although this brigade is quite a small group of salvationist, they clearly enjoy singing together and this was well received by the congregation.

A thought for Christmas was provided by Roger Gadsden following which the band’s final piece was a recent composition by Andrew Blyth entitled ‘Celebrate the Season’. This music is published in the USA and includes an interesting mix of Christmas carols which has been cleverly put together by the fine composer.

The band always enjoys visiting Gravesend Corps and has done so for several years. As is usual the music of the band was very much appreciated.

The evening concluded with a benediction by the Divisional Commander, Major Mark Herbert.