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Celebration Concert for James Williams, MBE

Enfield Citadel Band
Conductors: Iain Parkhouse and Don Jenkins
Featuring: Keith Hutchinson (cornet); Helen Parker (vocal); Bernard Snell (piano)
Guards Chapel
Saturday 3rd February

People travelled from far and wide to celebrate the life and music of Bandmaster James Williams MBE. 

The event was held in the Guards Chapel, acknowledging the Bandmaster's membership of the cornet section of the Grenadier Guards Band, and those attending included many past members of Enfield (and formerly Tottenham Citadel) Band, as well as those who had benefited from his inspirational leadership at music schools and events.


Enfield was led by Bandmasters Iain Parkhouse (Croydon Citadel) and the redoubtable Don Jenkins (formerly Bristol Easton). 

Bernard Snell paid tribute to Bandmaster Williams, highlighting his qualities of discipline, musicianship and integrity. He spoke of the support he was given as a 16-year-old, both playing cornet with the band and also being featured as a pianist, which skill he demonstrated on Rachmininov's 'Polchinelle'.

Bernard Snell paid tribute to Bandmaster Williams, highlighting his qualities of discipline, musicianship and integrity.

Vocalist Helen Parker, a regular participant on Enfield programmes performed Handel's 'Eternal Source of Light', with Simon Over at the organ and her son Dominic Purefoy on trumpet, as well as Flanders and Swann's humorous portrayal of a tone-deaf singer, 'A Word on my Ear'

The other featured soloist was Keith Hutchinson, Principal Cornet for over 20 years, who showed his skill with the challenging 'Crossroad'.

Heralds of Victory

The concert opened with 'Heralds of Victory', featuring 29 cornets lined up in front of the band. Former Bandmaster Andrew Blyth provided informative background to the music played, most of which had particular links with the band, including 'Celebration', 'Shall We Gather?', 'Guardian of our Way' and 'Call of the Righteous', written for the band's tour of North America in 1964.

The first half closed with a moving rendition of 'Resurgam'. Don Jenkins took over for the first items in the second half, showing he has lost none of his dynamism with 'Faith is the Victory' and 'Gowans and Larsson Overture'.

After the reading of Psalm 23, former players joined the current band for 'Nimrod' and Dean Goffin's majestic 'Symphony of Thanksgiving'. 

There was spontaneous applause as Jonathan Corry stepped forward to conduct 'The Red Shield' to conclude a fitting tribute to a man who was an inspiration to so many.

Peter Bale

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