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« Band Notes - March 2016Band Open Evening 2016 »


Sunday 27th March 2016


Easter Convention 2016

From the first quiet notes of Sir John Stainer's God So Loved The World to the final loud AMEN of Ralph Vaughan Williams' magnificent tune Randolph some seventy two hours later the Boscombe Easter Convention - 58th edition - was packed with moments that will live in the memory.

cross of glory

Always a busy weekend, the visit of the General, André Cox, and his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox, meant that this Easter the local Corps sections had to shoulder the responsibility of providing the support to our guests.  For the Band this meant that the traditional meditation on Maundy Thursday - this year focusing on the Upper Room - was the first of six meetings, inside and out, over the weekend.

Good Friday morning was followed by a programme with our Corps songsters on Saturday and two indoor meetings on Sunday sandwiching a glorious Easter march in the centre of Bournemouth featuring all of the local Corps.  Everyone who attended will go away with their own special memories - and those who did not attend can see dozens of photos and watch countless videos on social media.

pier openair

The Band have become accustomed to our Bandmaster's excellent programming for everything we take part in and Howard excelled himself over the course of this weekend.  The Saturday evening was structured around the theme "Worthy Is The Lamb" and opened with Howard's own composition Cross of Glory (premiered at the Boundless Congress last July) featuring Band and Songsters along with Howard himself at the piano.

The Band's major contribution to the evening was Roger Trigg's Atonement - written for the Melbourne Staff Band's UK tour in 2011.  The majestic finale is a setting of the worship song The Wonderful Cross - based on Isaac Watts' When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" as performed by Chris Tomlin, J.D. Walt and Jesse Reeves.  The chorus states:

easter 16

Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
All who gather here by grace, draw near and bless Your name

The second half of the programme took a format that has been used on a few previous occasions by the Band and centred around the General's bible thought.  The theme of the evening was expanded upon in a series of musical items by the Band, Songsters and soloists interspersed by a narration building to the conclusion - a performance by everyone in the hall of Handel's Worthy Is The Lamb and Amen Chorus from Messiah.

Tradition is sometimes frowned upon and discarded in favour of innovation.  Easter has, however, many traditions that are worth preserving.  From the menacing sounds of the opening movement of Leslie Condon's Easter Glory which accompanies the entrance of the cross on Good Friday morning, through the triumphant sounds of Easter Hymn to commence the sunday morning meeting and to the mass sing of the Hallelujah Chorus as the Benediction of that first meeting of Easter Day tradition is alive and well at Boscombe's Easter Convention!

At the end of this busy weekend, and following a rousing rendition of the Founder's Song, a "new tradition" was continued.  As was done for the Sydney Staff Songsters on their visit to Boscombe the weekend came to a close with a Benediction for our guests - as well as ourselves.  As the General and his wife knelt at the penitent form underneath the Army flag the Band played Bill Gordon's God Be With You - his setting of the tune Randolph.

keith 60

God be with you till we meet again,
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
Neath His wings protecting hide you,
Daily manna still divide you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
When life’s perils thick confound you,
Put His arms unfailing round you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threatening wave before you,
God be with you till we meet again.

There is a report of the General's visit on the Salvation Army's website. and many pictures of the march and openair service on the Bournemouth Daily Echo website.  Many pictures and videos of the weekend can also be found on the facebook pages of the Band and the Corps as well as many individual pages.