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Hendon Band

Conductor: Dr Stephen Cobb
Southend Citadel
Saturday 20th October

Led elegantly by Dr Stephen Cobb, the band began in fine style with the lively march 'Assignment', before quietening the mood with 'Hide me now (Still)'.

Stephen Ponsford's 'Life Ablaze' followed; the vigorous outer sections contrasting with the central setting of 'The Potter's Hand', which was enhanced by the lovely flugel playing of Maurice Patterson, stepping in at short notice for Nick Tiplady.

David Marley and David Rudd were the cornet duettists in 'Synergy', based around 'We're in God's Army' and 'O Boundless Salvation', before Jonathan Evans delivered an excellent rendition of Bob Redhead's demanding 'Euphony' - combining technical prowess with smooth lyricism.

Following Martin Cordner's 'The Name', Stephen Hopkins gave a fine brace of piano solos; the reflective 'Because He Lives' and the lively 'He Keeps Me Singing'.

Ideal template

Stephen Cobb described 'The Present Age' as perhaps the ideal template for a large-scale Salvation Army work - and it still sounds fresh despite having been written 50 years ago. The band brought out the contrasting emotions, ending on a positive note with 'Courage, Brother'.

The congregation joined in heartily with 'I'll Go in the Strength of the Lord' to start the second half, before the band carried on with Kevin Larsson's Broadway-influenced 'Fill the World with Glory' and principal trombone Paul Hopkins thrilled with 'Brasilia', despite the rather heavy accompaniment.

David Marley and David Rudd were the cornet duettists in 'Synergy', based around 'We're in God's Army' and 'O Boundless Salvation', before Jonathan Evans delivered an excellent rendition of Bob Redhead's demanding 'Euphony' - combining technical prowess with smooth lyricism.

Exuberant

Barrie Gott's 'Shine' has much in common with 'Lightwalk', and the band adapted well to its demands, including a vocal contribution. Two versions of 'All Creatures of our God and King' were included: William Gordon's 'All Creatures' being largely contemplative, whereas Stephen Bulla's 'Lift Up Your Voice' was more exuberant.

In between came a vocal setting of 'What a Wonderful World' whilst 'Prelude on Lavenham' led into the scripture thought, before the evening closed with 'Music of a Legacy'.

Looking back at some of the major works of the past, with references to composers such as Les Condon, Wilf Heaton, Eric Ball and Ray Steadman-Allen, the linking melody 'Lord for the Years' pointed to a continuing ministry in the coming days.

Peter Bale

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Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator