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Reports from the band's visit to

Visit to Tenby - October 22nd 2016
Visit to St Woolos Cathedral, Newport - June 18th 2016
(Separate page)
Visit to Connect Church, Caerphilly - March 4th 2016

Tenby Salvation Army celebrates 130 Years

It was in 1886 that Captain Russell and Lieutenant Williams were appointed by the Salvation Army to begin work in Tenby,

As part of the 130th anniversary celebrations Tenby Corps held a celebration of music in St Mary’s church in Tenby on Saturday 22nd October, guests for the evening were the Salvation Army South and Mid Wales Divisional Fellowship band(BM Adrian Browning, Risca), Morriston Citadel Songsters(Chris Lear) and guest soloist 12 year old Lauren Mia Jones

Following words of welcome by the Reverend Canon Andrew Grace and the opening congregational song, Morriston Songsters began the festival with 2 songs on the theme of Praise, God of my Praise and Total Praise, which fitted in well with the bible reading again with the theme of praise read by Songster leader Peter Greenway(Tenby). The SMWF Band, seated at the entrance to the nave, took advantage of the superb acoustics to highlight the opening fanfare of their first contribution, Ein Feste Burg by Andrew Mackereth, the controlled playing of this piece was much appreciated by the listeners.

12 year old Lauren Mia Jones from Pontardawe contributed 2 songs for her first solo spot, Footprints in the Sand and How long will I love you before Andi Drabble from Tenby Corps gave her testimony. Morriston songsters contributed More Than Wonderful and the upbeat In The Strength of the King and this was followed by the fellowship band taking us back to the 1940’s for Eric Ball’s classic selection Constant Trust. Lauren Mia Jones’s final contribution was simply entitled The Prayer.

 Morriston Songsters’s final contributions began with The Christ of Calvary set to a melody by Chris Lear, this was followed by Midnight Cry and From the First Hallelujah to the Last Amen. The Fellowship band then led into the epilogue with Ralph Pearce’s arrangement of the hymn tune Ascalon, the epilogue itself being brought by the Divisional Commander LT Col J P Ramos who led the weekend’s anniversary.

 Following  the singing of “I’ll go in the strength of the Lord” and the benediction by Canon Andrew Grace the fellowship band sent everyone on their way with the march that has become a theme tune for the band Norman Bearcroft’s Coleg Y Fro or Land of Song as its more commonly known,

 Ian Davies

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The band's visit to Connect Church, Caerphilly

Band at Caerphilly

A large congregation had gathered in the Connect Life church in Caerphilly on March 4th for the band's first festival of 2016 in anticipation of what had been billed as an evening of gospel music. The band commenced it's programme playing the hymn tune Maryton as a prelude which led directly in to Edward Gregson's scintillating march Dalaro, in complete contrast this was followed by Major Leslie Condon's arrangement of Joy Webb's I can think of Him

Words of welcome were given by Mrs Janice Rowland from Connect Church who explained the task of welcoming the band had fallen to her due to her husband, Pastor Roger Rowland, being otherwise engaged that evening, playing Eb Bass in the band

Music from the pens of 2 Australian composers began the next section of the programme which consisted of band items interspersed with testimonies from various band members. Major Howard Davies's suite Joy and Devotion had the congregation singing along with the families words while a particular favourite of some of the band is the selection Divine Communion from the pen of Bandmaster Arthur Gullidge whose life was tragically cut short during world war 2, inevitable for a Welsh band singing had a part in the programme, Deputy Bandmaster Tony Williams (Penarth) leading the band in Happy Song, words  written by Fanny Crosby. The first half of the programme concluding with Dean Jones's unpublished march Bury St Edmunds 125 which the band had been given permission to play.

After an interval during which coffee and cakes were served the 2nd half started with another march, Motondo, from the pen of Donald Osgood was followed by the chance for the congregation to sing along with the band, Crown Him with many crowns and then a second composition from Major Howard Davies, the Song Setting  He found me. Band Member Wendy Browning led us into the devotional section of the programme using descriptive sign language to illustrate the lyrics from the song My Jesus, My Savior before the Bible Reading given by the band's newly appointed executive officer Major Robert Peppiatt. The band's contribution to the devotional time being Darren Shaw's Guardian of my Soul.

The penultimate item on the programme is something of a theme tune for Welsh Salvation Army bands being written for and named after the Army's Welsh school of music at Coleg Y Fro by Major Norman Bearcroft which quickly had a name change to assist non Welsh speakers and became the march Land Of Song. The final item of the evening was a band arrangement of the benediction

May The Peace of God, our heavenly Father
And the grace of Christ, the risen Son
And the fellowship of God the Spirit
Keep our hearts and minds within his love.

 Ian Davies

Llanelli

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