A year has gone by all too quickly and the New Year Festival 2016 is upon us; .a great evening with two teenage soloists who were excellent and did their parents proud.
Kettering Band put on another fine evening but unfortunately the inclement weather deterred some from coming however those who did get there enjoyed an evening of good music- making and Christian witness.
The two soloists, Thomas Neilson from Croydon Citadel and Lucy Northwood from Leicester South impressed the audience with their musical talents and enthusiasm.
Thomas provided an interesting programme playing both the cornet and trumpet and his ambition to make music his career was clearly visible. His first solo was the rarely heard ‘Whirlwind’, by Peter Graham; not only a difficult solo part which was played with aplomb but also a not so easy accompaniment played well by the band. This was followed by Ray Bowes arrangement of ‘David of the White Rock’. We were then treated to two secular pieces, ‘Slavische Fantasie’ and ‘Tico Tico’. His final solo, ‘I Surrender All’, was for many a highlight; a beautiful arrangement by David Chaulk which for Christians is the foundation of our faith.
Lucy Northwood was the vocal soloist and is well known to Kettering folk and she is Head Girl at Lutterworth College. For someone so young she showed great maturity in her choice of songs. Her ability to sing the operatic arias in the original language ‘Deh Vieni non Tardar’ and ‘Du bist die Ruh’ was impressive. For many in the audience ‘I’ll Walk with God’ was the highlight of the evening accompanied by the band. In arrangements like this it is easy for the accompaniment to drown out the soloist but not in this case. Her other songs, ‘Silent moon’, Feeling Good’ and ‘With all I am’ were enthusiastically received. Special mention must be made of Richard Phillips who accompanied Lucy.
Kettering Band continues to be at the forefront of Salvation Army banding and offered a fine selection of mainly modern pieces beginning with Martin Cordner’s ‘The Call of the Gospel’ featuring the song ‘We have a Gospel that matches the hour’, from the first Salvation Army musical ‘Take-over Bid’; a message that is still relevant today.
‘Breezing down Broadway’ was a popular choice with favourite tunes from some of Broadway’s famous musicals. Many of the audience could be seen singing the words to the songs and a special mention has to be made of the four members of the trombone section who made a valiant attempt to play like ’76 trombones!’
For many band enthusiasts Wilfred Heaton is regarded as one of the best composers and arrangers and his compositions, though often easy to listen can be very difficult to play. The band chose ‘Elegy for Departed Comrades’ which was well played.
‘The Day of the Lord’ ended the first half. This is a very exciting and difficult piece of music which was well played but needs to be heard more than once in order to understand its message.
‘Make His Praise Glorious’ by the American salvationist William Gordon opened the 2nd half. This lively arrangement of the hymn tune ‘Old One Hundredth’ was enjoyed by the audience.
‘Be Still for the Presence of the Lord’ is a modern hymn used by all churches. Bandmaster Richard Phillip’s fine arrangement brought much blessing which was enhanced by the words being projected on the screen.
Lt Col Geoff Blurton brought a simple but effective message as always.
The band’s final piece was Robert Redhead’s ‘Quintessence’ written in 1978 for Melbourne Staff Band’s visit to the UK. This piece was a regular item on Kettering Band’s programme in the early 1980s and it was good to hear it again; a piece that tests bands for technical ability and choral playing. It was a fine rendition and brought to an end a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Thank you to Tom, Lucy and Kettering Citadel Band for another great night.
Thanks to Steve Young for the report and Paul Marsh for the photos.