A Tribute to Salvation Army Musicians, Music and Composers
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My choice of 8 pieces of music for a desert island reflect some past memories of friends and events and are of a varied nature; it is not quite the same as choosing my 8 favourite pieces. I shall restrict myself to the “regalzonophone” website, which means I cannot select Elgar’s “Nimrod”, or Eric Ball’s “Journey into Freedom”, both of which are favourites of mine. The first march is the one I would choose if I could only take one. My book (excluding the Bible and Shakespeare) would be “Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien. My luxury would be a photo album to remind me of people and places I love.
|1||Spirit of Joy (Herbert Rive) PRA1026 Enfield Citadel Band
In my opinion the finest march ever written played by the best Corps band.
|2||Slavonic Dance (Dvorak arr. Steadman-Allen) JB254 Sydney Congress Hall Band
This is lively classical music which reminds me of days at the National School of Music at Tylney Hall under the batons of Dean Goffin and Norman Bearcroft.
|3||Celestial Morn (Les Condon) LRZ4002 Les Condon and the International Staff Band
Les Condon was evacuated to Fakenham, Norfolk where my paternal grandfather and later my father were Y.P. band leaders when Les was a boy. Les continued to be a friend of our extended family and was a lovely humble man, dying when playing Christmas carols with his Corps band at Croydon. I played both B flat and E flat bass at Watford Citadel and Uxbridge Corps but this solo is beyond my capabilities! Les is buried with his wife, Ruth, in Fakenham and has a tuba engraved on his grave stone. (picture below)
|4||The Holy War (Steadman-Allen) SLRZ4013 International Staff Band
This was a piece of music written ahead of its time as regards Salvation Army music by arguably the leading S.A. composer
|5||The Light of the World (Dean Goffin) SXLP50015 International Staff Band
I played this many times with the Watford Citadel Band, including at my maternal grandfather’s funeral. Not just “Jesus I have promised”, a promise we are prone to break, but “Jesus you have promised to all who follow thee”, a promise he will not break.
|6||Symphony of Thanksgiving (Dean Goffin) LRZ4003 Tottenham Citadel Band
Here is a wonderful piece of symphonic music by Dean Goffin. I remember playing this with the massed bands at the Tylney Hall National School of Music. It includes my favourite hymn tune, “Praise my soul the king of heaven”.
|7||Fantasia for Pianoforte and Band (Steadman-Allen) SLRZ4013 Ray Steadman-Allen & International Staff Band
This is a unique piece of music in Salvation Army terms. Not only does it include band and piano, but also the male voices singing “Christ is the Answer to my need”, the theme chorus at the National School of Music in the 1960’s. This would probably bring to tears to my eyes when I played it on the desert island.
|8||Star Lake (Eric Ball) XTV26099 International Staff Band
I could not choose 8 discs without choosing an Eric Ball composition. There are so many possibilities, but I selected this well-known march to make my time on the island more joyful.