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SHOLING CORPS... 29 September 2017

The Band [Bandmaster Dan Redhead] began its 2017-2018 Session, and its 21st Year, with a remarkable evening of fine music making at Sholing Corps on Friday 29 September. Dan chose from the Band’s eclectic range of music in its 2017-2018 repertoire a programme appropriate to an Army Corps. The evening started with the Band instantly into its stride with its first performance of “Camp Happyland” [James Anderson]: then moving immediately into Leonard Ballantine‘s gentle arrangement of “Shenandoah”.

“Faithful God” [Bowater arr. Dean Jones], “Dance Like David” [Andrew Mackereth] followed, and the first part of the evening ended with “Las Lluvias Grandes”[Peter Graham] enlivened by half-a-dozen sombrero wearing “volunteers” from the congregation joining the Band for the first movement on a variety of Latin American percussion instruments.

After a 20 minute interval with band and congregation mingling over coffee and tea, renewing acquaintances and friendships, the Band resumed with “Be Whiter”, [Barrie Gott], followed by “All to Jesus”, [Roger Trigg], William Himes’ “The Blessing” and “The Gaelic Blessing” [John Rutter arr. RSA]. And to round off the evening a sparkling performance of Martyn Thomas’ “South Coast” conducted by the composer.

All this encompassed a quartet of remarkable soloists. Steve Jones played his first performance with Band accompaniment of what is probably the UK Premiere of Dorothy Gates’ band arrangement of Ivor Bosanko’s trombone solo “His Provision”: the work as yet unpublished in band format was played by kind permission of the composer who generously sent Steve the band parts: and John Hanchett gave a stunning first performance with the Band of “A Welsh Fantasy for Euphonium and Band” [Ralph Pearce]. Martyn Thomas, cornet, matched by John Hanchett on piano and James Mockett on percussion took us through a whirlwind of jazz rhythms, Trad, Blues, Ballad, Latin American moving into a classic big finish, his own composition based on “This little light of mine”. No little light ever glowed so wondrously and gloriously!

And in the mix was International Staff Songster Ruth Unwin. Ruth’s first numbers, sensitively accompanied by Martyn Thomas, “If I loved you” by Rodgers and Hammerstein from “Carousel” and “On the Street Where you live” Lerner and Loewe from “My Fair Lady” demonstrated her ability to enthral her audience as she told each story, in words and music, with sensitivity and understanding. Ruth also enhanced the Band’s playing of Geoffrey Nobes band arrangement of his own hymn tune “Lavenham”, singing, with the Band, “Lord there are times when I have to ask why”

For her second spot Ruth sang, unaccompanied, the 1882 words by William Longstaff to the old Northern folk song “The Waters of Tyne” that was collected by William Bell in 1810.

Take time to be Holy,
Speak oft with Thy Lord
Abide in Him always
And feed on His Word

This was sheer musical perfection, sung quietly to a totally still, rapt and absorbed audience, perhaps almost reluctant to breathe to disturb the beauty of the song. It was exquisite musicianship: and there just needed no other message! [DD]


We just received the following note about our concert on Friday evening. A full report of which will appear here shortly...

"I just wanted to add my thanks to that already publicly given for the visit of the Solent Fellowship Band to Sholing Corps last Friday evening. I felt there was a great atmosphere in the building as the band played, bringing music which was exciting, and contrasting these with some very reflective moments. It was a happy evening, and one that the corps will long remember. To date the amount of £275.54 was raised from the congregation towards the Big Collection, which we are very pleased with.

Thanks for all the hard work and preparation that went into this evening, and we will certainly pray God's blessing upon the band as you head off to Finland in a few weeks time.

God bless


Granville Myers
Commanding Officer
Southampton Sholing Corps"