The concert got off to a lively start with Roger Trigg’s, ‘Almighty’, the varied rhythmic treatment of ‘Lobe den Herren’ showing off the band to good effect.
They then quietened the mood by moving straight into Andrew Wainwright’s ‘There is Peace’, based on a Dutch chorus.
Following prayer, Lt Colonel Lincoln Parkhouse introduced compere Paul Hindmarsh and trumpet soloist Chris Jaudes, who presented a memorable master class at Regent Hall on contest weekend a few years ago.
James Curnow’s ‘Psalm of Praise’, commissioned for the 1978 International Congress, is undergoing a well-deserved revival at the moment.
Enfield made the most of this vibrant score, which combines crisp rhythms with smooth, reflective interludes. Maurice Patterson and Paul Baker were heard to good effect in the solos, and the contrasts in dynamics were well observed.
Soloist under par
Chris Jaudes is renowned for his high register playing, but it was clear from his opening number that he was a little short of top form.
Notes, which had rung out perfectly in rehearsal failed to sound, and one had to feel for him as he tried to work round the problem.
There was still some stunning playing, but he was obviously not comfortable, trying a couple of times to reach the intended top F at the end of Mark Freeh’s ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.
Similar problems beset him in Peter Korey’s, ‘Maria’, although to a lesser extent.
In between the solo items, the band presented ‘Nativity’ from Philip Wilby’s ‘Dove Descending’.
A semitone lower than the original, it still is quite a challenge, but the band produced some nicely hushed tones, with neat dovetailing between the soloists and measured placing of the euphonium cadenza.
To close the first half, Jonathan Corry directed a sparkling performance of Ray Steadman-Allen’s, ‘On Ratcliffe Highway’, drawing together the various diverse elements to paint a colourful picture of the early-day Salvation Army.
Solo lines emerged from the background, with effective work on xylophone by Steve Moulton.
The close was suitably majestic, with Tim Buckle’s soprano soaring over the band.
Hynd in good form
Barrie Gott’s ‘Lightwalk’ welcomed the audience back after the interval, and it was good to have Malcolm Hynd re-occupying the flugel seat.
The programme then continued with Bramwell Coles’ march ‘Under Two Flags’, played at a cracking pace and with some fine work from the trombone section in particular.
Chris Jaudes presented Lunkvist’s ‘This is My Story’, with Bandmaster James Williams, MBE, taking up the baton.
This Latin American number worked well, with a commanding solo line. Dorothy Gates’ arrangement of, ‘The Green Hornet’ featured slick runs and double-tonguing, with a powerful middle section and some striking lip trills.
The artistry of Wilfred Heaton
The band brought two of Wilfred Heaton’s fine arrangements, the bolero-style ‘Victory for Me' (once again featuring Malcolm Hynd) and the reflective ‘Just as I Am', where the attention to detail and balance brought out the subtleties of the writing.
Following the scripture reading, Chris’s final contribution was Bulla’s setting of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, bringing a moment of calm reflection.
The programme ended with Peter Graham’s ‘Renaissance’, featuring the triumphant hymn tune ‘Laudes Domini’.
The ensemble playing from the band was first class, with an impressive sound in the tutti passages and ending in a final blaze of sound.
he audience were then sent home in toe-tapping fashion with Enfield’s traditional choreographed rendition of ‘The Red Shield’.