Reviews - CDs and DVDs


Immeasureable - Bellshill SA Band - 2018 CROPPED 0001

Bellshill Salvation Army Band 

Bandmaster: Yvonne Ferguson

SP&S CD411



Formed in 1921, the band has had a continuous presence in the West of Scotland. The recording contains twelve  tracks of delightful music  and is the bands fifth CD.  

Originally written for the London Central Fellowship Band, Martin Cordner's lively Call of the Gospel  is a fine opening number. Built around the chorus 'We have a Gospel', from the Gowan's and Larsson musical  Take-over Bid, the piece is in the form of a concert overture. The Adventurers  is the second work of Martin Cordner to be featured on the disc. Inspired by the music of John Williams and Bruce Broughton the piece portrays the Christian Journey. Structured in three movements, the first in a march style that commands attention, the second is reflective and a joyous third that leads to a triumphant close.

Around 1900 Handel Parker wrote the hymn tune Deep Harmony and it soon became part of the standard repertoire of Black Dyke Band. Roy Newsome's magnificent  arrangement of this finest of hymn tunes is given performance that shows reverence to Isaac Watts iconic words 'Sweet is the work my God is King'. Not as sonorous as Black Dyke, but nevertheless the highlight of the disc for the listener.

 Two popular but demanding solo items are included, each requiring first class technique and musicianship to deliver a performance. William Himes cornet solo Jubilance and Robert  Redhead's euphonium solo Euphony are both  splendidly presented by principal cornet Alex Ramsey  and principal  euphonium  Chris Shanks. The two soloists also combine to perform Ivor Bosanko's  lovely cornet and euphonium duet Time and Eternity. The three items are a joy enhanced by the sensitive accompaniment of the band.

Andrew Blyth's fine festival prelude Immeasurable, a suitable opening item for a concert, the up tempo arrangement of Stephen Bulla's  Lift up Your Voice, Paul Sharman's effective arrangement of Reuben Morgan's song Hide Me Now and William Himes festival march Motivation are all performed with finesse and fit ideally  in to the disc's programme.

Howard Davies' arrangement of Lawrie Klein's I Love you, Lord and Frank Bernaerts arrangement of the well known duet The Prayer featuring Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli , allows the band to display their warm and balanced sound.

This is my first hearing of Bellshill Salvation Army Band and it has been a very enjoyable experience. The performances of quality music, directed by Bandmaster Yvonne Ferguson, are to a  high standard and Melvyn Shanks informative programme notes add interest to the album.


1. Call of the Gospel - Martin Cordner [ 3.53]

2. Deep Harmony - Handel Parker arr: Roy Newsome [3.33]

3. Jubilance - William Himes - Cornet Soloist: Alex Ramsey [8.55]

4. Lift up your Voice - Stephen Bulla [2.29]

5. Euphony - Robert Redhead - Euphonium Soloist: Chris Shanks [7.46]

6. I love you, Lord - Laurie Klein arr: Howard Davies [4.40]

7. Immeasurable - Andrew Blyth [4.40]

8. Time and Eternity - Ivor Bosanko - Cornet Soloist: Alex Ramsey with Euphonium Soloist: Chris Shanks [6.37]

9. The Adventurers - Martin Cordner [7.14]

10. Hide Me Now - Reuben Morgan arr: Paul Sharman [3.23]

11. Motivation - William Himes [4.46]

12. The Prayer - Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster arr: Frank Bernaerts [4.54]

Sydney Swancott