Tour of Holland 1947 - Part 3

The campaign of Boscombe Citadel Band in Holland was a triumphal march through the Netherlands. Everywhere the band conquered the hearts of large crowds. After the visits to Dordrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the band visited Utrecht on the Sunday night. Nearly two thousand people filled the Buurkerk. The music of the band,which sounded beautiful in the cathedral, the personal testimonies of Band Sergeant Hewitt and Bandsman Norman Cutler and the Bible address of Major Baker (CO Boscombe) made a deep impression. A writer in one of the Utrecht daily papers stated:

The playing of the band showed excellent cultivation from the cornets to the basses, which is not apparent in many professional bands. But not only the musical achievements of this fine band, with its sound team spirit, is impressive. The way in which the men proclaimed the message, which is the purpose of every Salvation Army meeting, revealed the inspiration which lives amongst these men.

When the band arrive in Groningen, after the long journey from Hilversum, where it had played for the radio, hundreds of people were waiting for the march through the centre of the city to the town hall, where an official reception took place. The town hall stands amidst ruins, bringing to mind the hand-to-hand fighting of the war, during which a large part of the city was destroyed.

At night the concert hall 'De Harmonic' was filled to capacity. Hundreds of non-Salvationist bandsmen had come to listen to the band, and were not disappointed. Surely the band was at its best that night. The first movement of the Unfinished Symphony, Moments with Tchaikovsky, the cornet solo Tucker, by Deputy Bandmaster H. Walker, and the trombone solo The Priceless Gift, by Bandsman C. Hayes, were applauded with great enthusiasm.

This band played as a brass band should play, and in a way which made it seem that no technical difficulties exist for these musicians. Nieuwsblad van het Noorden

Major Van Dalen writing in The Musician, 1947