Highlights from the SA 2012 ‘I’ll Fight Congress’
ISB, the International Songsters and a massed youth chorus.
This 2 disc DVD captures the atmosphere and music making over the 2 day event. Saturday afternoon’s gathering features the ISB, the International Songsters and a massed youth chorus. As this review is for Brass Band enthusiasts I will stick primarily with the contributions from the ISB.
The band plays the Arthur Gullidge March, Emblem of the Army as the various Salvation Army Officers from all over the UK are greeted by General Linda Bond whilst entering the auditorium of the Royal Albert Hall. The march is played several times to facilitate the entrances and at a tempo Richard Evans would have approved of!
As well as accompanying congregational singing and providing a brass combo for a vocal item they play Paul Lovatt Cooper’s Fire in the Blood. This is a piece reflecting the composer’s Salvationist upbringing and is becoming a popular work both within the SA and the wider brass band fraternity. The performance of scintillating energy is followed by a beautiful middle section featuring flugel horn and euphonium solos and ends with an even more exciting conclusion. The visual element adds to this experience.
The bands other solo piece is Soli Deo Gloria by William Himes. Here the composer cleverly combines J S Bach’s choral prelude ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’ and Naida Hearn’s chorus ‘Jesus Name above all Names’, allowing the ISB to show its hallmark cantabile playing.
The Sunday morning Service has the band again accompanying congregational singing and playing Darren Shaw’s Guardian of my Soul, a devotional selection combining hymns with original music used to support and enhances the words.
The final part of the weekend on Sunday afternoon starts with the ISB playing part of Erik Leidzen’s iconic march The Invincible Army. They also perform Kevin Larsson’s They shall come from the East. This finds the band singing in Swahili at the start , accompanied by a pair of bongos. Instruments are gradually added as the piece builds up to a big band Latin finish.
These DVD’s also contain some superb singing, drama, rap and even some cycling! Highly recommended.