The International Staff Band visited Portsmouth Citadel Corps for the weekend of 26th and 27th January 2013 to mark the start of the Corps' 140th anniversary celebrations. A capacity congregation gathered on the Saturday evening and enjoyed a fantastic evening of musical ministry under the leadership of Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb and their Executive Officer Major Noel Wright.
The evening got underway in style with Kevin Larsson's exciting march 'Temple 125'. 'The Lord Bless You and Keep You', a beautiful song by songwriters Nik and Emma Pears transcribed by Staff Bandsman Paul Sharman followed before the evening was presented to God in prayer.
The music and message that followed on throughout the evening continued to inspire and uplift the congregation. Cornet soloist Carl Nielsen played Dean Goffin's 'Victorious', a classic theme and variation work, Euphonium soloist Derick Kane played Stephen Bulla's 'Air N' Variations', and the haunting Irish melody 'Through the Fair', arranged by Chelsea Pascoe, was beautifully presented on Flugel Horn by Richard Woodrow.
A mixture of traditional Salvation Army music such as Ray Steadman-Allen's 'Victorian Snapshots - On Ratcliff Highway' and Norman Audoire's march 'Montreal Citadel' contrasted with more contemporary compositions such as Steven Ponsford's 'The Day of The Lord' and Paul Lovatt-Cooper's 'Fire in The Blood', all of which had an equally powerful message and relevance.
The fantastic weekend continued on Sunday morning with a packed hall ready for morning worship under the leadership of Major Noel Wright. The Staff Band helped to settle the congregation for worship by playing William Himes' 'Soli Deo Gloria'. Brian Bowen's piece 'Consecration' was featured during worship.
The Staff Band presented another concert in the afternoon, again featuring a varied mix of traditional and contemporary music. The concert started with Arthur Gullidge's traditional march 'Unconquered'. In stark contrast the band presented Martin Cordner's contemporary piece 'Fusion', though the piece takes its' inspiration from the old Albert Osborn song 'I Know Thee Who Thou Art'.
Cornet Soloist Gavin Lamplough played Erik Leidzen's 'Tucker' which was followed by Norman Bearcroft's euphonium solo 'Harbour Light' played by Jonathan Evans. Other music included Ray Steadman-Allen's piece 'The Warrior Psalm' and Darren Shaw's contemporary setting of his own song 'Guardian of My Soul'.
The weekend concluded with the Staff Band playing Eric Ball's 'The Triumph of Peace'.
A truly wonderful weekend of musical ministry was enjoyed by all who gathered for worship. A fantastic way to begin Portsmouth Citadel's 140th anniversary celebrations.
Take a look at some photos of the weekend below: