International Staff Songsters

40th Anniversary celebrations
Conductor: Dorothy Nancekievill
International Staff Band
Conductor: Doctor Stephen Cobb
Regent Hall
Saturday 18th January

The International Staff Band shared the platform at Regent Hall for a concert to mark the start of the International Staff Songster's 40th anniversary celebrations.  Led by Gavin Lamplough they provided sterling support to their fellow staff section, starting by marching them in to Leslie Condon's ever-popular 'Celebration'.
With the leadership shared between Dorothy Nancekievill and former leaders Andrew Blyth and Len Ballantine it was an evening full of shared memories and celebration of the group's ministry.  

Major contribution

Continuing the retrospective theme the ISB presented Nicholas Samuel's 'Legacy of Faith', incorporating such melodies as 'In His Time', 'One Life to Live'  and 'I Have Not Much to Give Thee, Lord'.  Their major contribution was Andrew Wainwright's 'Variations on Was Lebet', a good, if heavy showcase for the band.  It was however, a very assured performance, with special mention to Gary Fountain on soprano and the fine trombone section.
They closed the first half in lighter vein with Kevin Larsson's 'The Spirit in Me', taking his father's melodies to fashion a sparkling feature for the whole cornet section.

With the leadership shared between Dorothy Nancekievill and former leaders Andrew Blyth and Len Ballantine it was an evening full of shared memories and celebration of the group's ministry.  


The second half opened with Steven Ponsford's 'Toccata Fire', a lively treatment of the modern setting of William Booth's words 'Send the Fire', with references to John Larsson's 'Burning, Burning'.  

Richard Woodrow on flugel had his neatly styled moment in the spotlight in 'Light walk', sung by the songsters in ‘swingle singers’ style, before Len Ballantine was invited to conduct his up-tempo 'Go Down Moses'.
The evening though belonged to the Songsters who were on fine form all night.  Their central item was 'Choral Symphony No 4 (Symphony of Love)', with other items including 'Ubi Caritas', 'O Love'  and 'Compelled by Love', together with the George Marshall classic 'Jesus Himself Drew Near'.
Former members were invited to join with the current brigade for 'Sing for Joy', followed by 'More than Wonderful', which was enhanced by the playing of the band.  They then presented John Rutter's 'The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee'  as a benediction before playing everyone out with a brisk 'Temple 85'.

Peter Bale

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