Enfield Citadel Band

Bandmaster: Jonathan Corry
Croydon Citadel
Saturday 2nd July

Having opened with a rhythmically precise rendition of 'The Southern Cross', the mood quietened as Maurice Patterson brought a sensitive reading of 'Don't Doubt Him Now'.

Introducing 'Excerpts from the Little Russian', Jonathan pointed out that 'Little Russia' is modern Ukraine; the inclusion of three tunes from the area reminding one of the region's current troubles - the music full of excitement and contrast, with Tim Buckle on soprano making his presence felt (in the best way of course!).

Assured trombone 

Andrew Justice was the soloist in Bill Himes' laid-back 'Blessed Assurance'; the band adapting well to the musical style, whilst 'Simple Gifts' which followed was typical of the craftsman-like approach of Ray Steadman-Allen; a light-hearted set of variations on the Shaker tune, with all the band having their moment in the limelight.

Choral transcription 

Jonathan Corry's arrangement of Rutter's 'As the Bridegroom to his Chosen' was very effective, making for a reflective interlude before 'The Present Age'. 

Leslie Condon’s major work addresses the problem of living a Christian life in the modern world, with the turmoil and bustle contrasting with the assurance offered by melodies such as 'To Serve the Present Age', ‘My Calling to Fulfil' and 'I'll Follow Thee' - the latter cutting off mid-phrase, but with the confidence of 'It is Well with my Soul' and ‘Courage, Brother' winning out in the end. 

New recruit

A sextet led into the second half with 'Just a Closer Walk with God' - the rest of the band joining in with a fine solo from Andrew Justice. The Territorial Commander, Commissioner Clive Adams, led a song before taking up his trombone for 'Croydon Citadel' - the bass solo giving him a good workout!

Two ensemble features followed, with the trombones shining in 'I Will Follow Him' and the horns with Leidzen's setting of Bach's 'Air from the Suite in D'. The latter's sparse scoring allowed the unison to be heard clearly throughout.

Lively dance

Despite seeming to have a Celtic influence, 'Gigue: Alleluia, Amen!' has its origins in a Spanish dance; the tambourine giving the game away in a lively treatment that included a tricky xylophone part. 

Paul Baker produced a scintillating version of 'A Joy Untold', before Kenneth Downie's 'In Perfect Piece' led into the Commissioner's bible message - comparing the impact of Brexit to the dispersal of the Jewish people following conquest.

Confident finale

Since its introduction by the Chicago Staff Band, Andrew Wainwright's 'Illuminate' has been a popular addition to the repertoire - combining Evangeline Booth's 'The World for God' with the contemporary song 'Shine on Us', to build to a confident assertion of faith. 

As the band presented its customary encore of 'Red Shield' one was reminded of Jonathan's sterling work in recent years to maintain Enfield's place at the forefront of Salvation Army banding.

Peter Bale

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