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Expressions

Regent Hall Band
Conductor: Stephen Hanover
Featuring: Regent Hall Songsters; David Taylor; Josh Herbert; Harmony
Regent Hall
Thursday 12th October

The guests for this year's Expressions event were David Taylor, principal euphonium at Birmingham Citadel, and contemporary dancer Josh Herbert, who performed a couple of solo dances as well as participating in joint items, including David's opening number, 'Donegal Bay'.

Versatility

The band introduced itself with Martin Cordner's 'Flashpoint' before accompanying David in Robert Redhead's demanding 'Euphony', with its tricky rhythms and changing meter. David made light of the technical challenges, demonstrating a clear, pure tone.

Later he was to appear dressed in motorbike gear to perform 'Ducati'; revelling in the techniques employed, as appropriate images were projected on the screens around the hall. It was in total contrast to the simplicity of his final contribution, 'Spirit of Life'.

Saxophonist Elliott Chappell was the other instrumental soloist with 'So Glad', and the band also presented a choreographed version of 'Jubilo, Jubilo', complete with mariachi trumpets.

Telling contributions 

The Regent Hall Songsters played a major part in the evening's success; on this occasion fielding an almost equal number of male and female voices. Their most striking contributions were 'More than Wonderful', with its soaring tenor lines, and the reflective 'Guardian of my Soul'.

In 2015, Expressions saw the launch of the boy band ‘Four Hymn’, and this year it was the turn of the girls, as Tamsin Launn, Lucy Northwood and Sonia Roberts made their debut as ‘Harmony’. 

Their first item, 'Almighty', suffered initially from balance problems, but the sound team soon worked their magic, and it was good to see Richard Mingay adding his piano skills to the accompaniment. They returned later, in Salvation Army uniform, presenting 'Seal Lullaby' and 'Holy Spirit', and showing their versatility with some fine singing in harmony.

Uplifting contribution 

The band's major work was 'Glorifico Aeternum', linking together 'Now Thank We all our God', 'Somebody Prayed for Me' and 'The King of Love my Shepherd is' in a performance full of verve and vitality.

The finale united all the performers and the audience in 'Our Saviour's Love (On we march)', complete with waving flags in the gallery.

Peter Bale



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RSCM, ABBA Exec Member, NABBC PRO.
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator