Fulham Brass

Conductor: John Ward
Soloist: Chris Thomas (trombone)
Regent Hall
25th October

After hosting a successful Wilfred Heaton concert last year, Fulham Brass returned to Regent Hall under John Ward with a programme of Peter Graham's Salvation Army works. 

Edward Gregson had described Peter as the ‘Eric Ball of his day', and the range and variety of his output (past and present) bears that out.


'The Ambassadors' was commissioned for a world tour by the New York Staff Band. It showed a lively, transatlantic style, with delicate euphonium figures answering the cornets. The featured tunes of 'Stand up for Jesus' and 'Shout aloud Salvation', were declaimed by the excellent trio of trombones.

Cory’s outstanding trombone player Chris Thomas appeared as guest soloist, playing two solos written for the composer's brother, Paul. 

'The Guardian' based round the charming melody Ray Bowes composed to the words. 'Jesus loves me', was at the emotional core of the work. The outer sections placed considerable demands on the soloist in terms of range and agility - something he displayed to great aplomb especially in the unaccompanied cadenza.

The outer sections placed considerable demands on the soloist in terms of range and agility - something he displayed to great aplomb especially in the unaccompanied cadenza.

'Renaissance' was commissioned for a tour by the International Staff Band at the turn of the millennium, a time of much doubt and uncertainty in the world. The theme is underlined by the use of Joy Webb's 'Come into our World', set against 'Laudes Domini' ('When Morning Gilds the Skies').

'St Theresa' is a setting of the benediction 'Let Nothing Disturb Thee', with the original figures enhancing the melody without becoming over prominent.

To a tee

The bossa nova 'Fiesta' solo was written when Paul was a member of the International Staff Band. Chris captured the style to a tee, the solo line sitting on top of an accompaniment that saw a cornet and horn co-opted to the percussion section.

The band closed with 'Seize the Day'. 'The Gospel Train' kicked things off before a laid-back account of 'Swing Low' on euphonium. Elements of 'Steal Away' crept in almost imperceptibly before the rip-roaring version of 'Amen'.

The appreciative audience for an enjoyable concert was boosted by the presence of students and staff from the American International School from Kuwait.

Peter Bale

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