An evening of fine music making

Programme cover from joint concert with Enfield Salvation Army Band and LCFB

Programme cover from joint concert with Enfield Salvation Army Band and LCFB

A capacity crowd greeted the LCFB and Enfield Citadel Band in a joint concert at Ipswich Citadel. It was a time of happy Salvationist music making  enhanced by several  father and son relationships linking the two bands. It was good to meet up with KEITH NICE, conductor of The Suffolk Phoenix Band and a former colleague in the Chelmsford Citadel Band. Thank you Keith for accepting our invitation to report on the evenings events.

A near capacity audience greeted Enfield Citadel and London Central Fellowship bands to Ipswich Citadel. Robert Redhead’s A Fanfare of Praise was chosen by Enfield to commence the programme and set the standard for the evening with a controlled and exciting performance. The bands alternated items interspersed with comments from Jonathan Corry and David Daws their respective conductors. London Central Fellowship band chose Ray Steadman Allen’s Take Over Bid as their first item bringing back happy memories of the early days of SA musicals. Mention must be made of Phil Fisher who produced a warm, full sound on the tenor horn in the solo Demelza, and Debbie Crane who added variety with a vocal solo Now I belong to Jesus. Enfield provided a foot tapping rendition of Alan Fernie’s Just a Closer Walk and the first half concluded with a favourite of this listener Kenneth Downie’s Purcell Variations. It is clear from this reading that Enfield are in safe hands with Jonathan Corry.

Kevin Norbury’s march Orwell Park opened the second half, a nice touch by the Fellowship band given that the park is just outside Ipswich and recognises the regional music school held there in the past. Having not attended a SA festival for over 20 years I was intrigued and surprised to see Hello! Dolly on the programme as I was to see Breezin’ Down Broadway, both items given a spirited performance by the Fellowship band. Enfield also included I will Follow Him from the film Sister Act featuring the trombone section, ably led as always by Andrew Justice, they provided a faultless and impressive item.

The bands united for the final items, following a short thought provoking address by Major Graham Mizon they played Lord, With My All I Part. It was good to see Bandmaster Williams take the baton for Erik Leidzen’s march In the Kings Service and the bands responded to his direction. The evening closed with the Fellowship band playing the hymn tune Worcester, there is something special about a brass band playing a hymn tune, and no concert featuring Enfield would be complete without the obligatory Red Shield which this year will be the fiftieth anniversary of its inclusion in Enfield’s programme and still played with great verve and panache.

As someone quite rightly pointed out it was an evening of fine music making with something for everyone.