Coventry City Salvation Army Corps

Saturday 20th March 2010


Coventry City Band had visited Birmingham Citadel some weeks ago and so, for BCB, this was a “return festival” which further cemented the fellowship of the two corps. Many folk from Coventry, Birmingham and beyond were present and the evening was further enhanced by the singing of Coventry City Songsters.

For the band, this was the first major festival of the new season and the programme featured several new pieces which have been added to the repertoire.

Brand new additions were Martin Cordner’s “Fanfare and Flourishes”, Kevin Norbury’s “Hallelujah Parade” and “Kerygma” by Stephen Ponsford. Despite having to negotiate some rather unique acoustics, the band gave confident performances of all three pieces and I’m sure they will continue to be featured in the future.

In contrast to these contemporary

works, more traditional music was

featured. Herbert Rive’s finely

crafted march “Spirit of Joy” was

heartily received, this in stark

contrast to the silence which was

evident after the closing chord

of Ray Steadman-Allen’s

transcription of the elegiac melody

“The Last Spring” by Greig.

Judging by the remarks heard

prior to the festival, on knowing

that Eric Ball’s “Songs of the Morning”

was going to be featured, the

inclusion of this brass band classic

was a popular choice and its

performance was met with 

enthusiastic applause!

The featured soloists of the band were on particularly good form. Gavin Lamplough’s performance of Eric Leidzen’s cornet solo “Tucker” and David Taylor’s rendition of Norman Bearcroft’s euphonium solo “The Better World” thrilled the audience, which greeted both soloists with prolonged applause to acknowledge their dexterity and artistry of these fine, but taxing solos.

Neil Blessett’s warm and rich tenor horn tone was evident as he brought the Goff Richards arrangement of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. Again, this was much appreciated by the audience.

As well as Neil’s solo, other more secular numbers were presented. The band has realised that much of this kind of music can be used in an effective way to present the Christian message in a more accessible medium. “The Crimson Tide”, original music by Hans Zimmer, is one such example and the powerful multi-media presentation fully enhanced the music.

The visual images on the screen

featured throughout the programme

(expertly handled by Malcolm

Hayward), and another example of

this was when the Trombone

ensemble brought the up-beat

number from “Sister Act” –

“I will follow him”.

The evening had featured music for all tastes. Whether it was being swept along by the Western, hoe-down rhythms of Cordner’s “Round-up” or whether it was quietly hearing Band Sergeant Ian Kershaw’s words from Scripture and then hearing Dean Jones’ lovely arrangement of “Written in Red”, it was evident from the comments afterwards that BCB had not only brought their music for entertainment, but, more importantly, had delivered a strong spiritual message which we hope will have blessed and encouraged someone.

Words: BM Graham W. Lamplough

Pictures: Tom Brown

“Fanfare and flourishes” (Martin Cordner)    

“Fall Afresh”  (Andrew Mackereth)     


March: “Spirit of Joy” (Herbert Rive)     

Cornet Solo: “Tucker” (Erik Leidzen) Soloist: Gavin Lamplough

Elegiac Melody:“The Last Spring” (Grieg arr. Steadman-Allen)

Coventry City Songsters

Suite: “Songs of the Morning” (Eric Ball)

“Round-up” (Martin Cordner)


“Hallelujah Parade” (Kevin Norbury)

Cong. Song “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

Euphonium Solo: “The Better World” (Norman Bearcroft) Soloist: David Taylor    

Trombone feature: “I will follow Him” (arr. Goff Richards) 

“The Crimson Tide”     

Tenor Horn Solo: “Somewhere over the Rainbow” (arr.Goff Richards) Soloist: Neil Blessett

Coventry City Songsters

Scripture Thought

Song Arrangement: “Written in Red” (Dean Jones)

“Kerygma” (Stephen Ponsford)

     “Irish Blessing” (Stephen Bradnum)