One moment in time
As a fan of Salvation Army brass music, it interests me that some of our most popular and best-loved works are by composers who, for whatever reason, had just that one piece published by the SA. These composers most certainly aren’t ‘one hit wonders.’ Some of these writers have had choral music published by the Army, or music published outside of the movement. The significance here though is that there are a number of popular pieces in our journals that are a composer’s only SA-published brass piece.
A few months ago I decided to see just how many pieces there were in this category, and to what extent they had been used over the years. Looking through the publications of the Army’s UK and USA publishing houses, I found 100 such pieces published between the years of 1919 and 1999. In order to see how popular each of the pieces had been, it was important to pool the views of others so, earlier this year I used the platform of social media to conduct a survey. On the basis that (a) there aren’t that many band rooms with access to much music from before 1919, and (b) there is a greater possibility that composers published since the year 2000 will be published again, I figured this was a reasonable time frame of works from which to draw feedback.
The 100 people who participated in the survey were asked whether they had played the pieces, and had the option to make as many choices as they wished. Respondents were reminded that the survey was about which pieces they had played, not which were favourites, or they had simply heard of. The survey also offered opportunity to leave comments, and many did. In collating these it was a wonderful pleasure for me to read some of the stories associated with pieces, or memories of years gone by that had been recalled.
Finally, with no single definitive list of worldwide publications in existence, I’m sure readers will appreciate that it’s virtually impossible to make this an exact science. However I hope the data gathered here will give a general view on the popularity of pieces.
Here then are the top ten works by number of responses:
TS 660, publ. 1964
This march holds the unique status of being the first Festival March to be published in the Triumph Series (the next came 33 years later in the form of my own march New Commission!) It features the tune ‘Shall you, shall I?’ to which Salvationists associate the words ‘A light came out of darkness’. It has been a popular work, with just under one in five of those surveyed having played it. Its appeal was evidenced further in 1993 when it was included in SP&S’s Triumph Series Marches and Hymn Settings (Grey cover) book.
Wing Commander Barrie Hingley OBE is a former Principal Director of Music at the Royal Air Force and one of the service's most prolific composers. He has connections with Bedford Congress Hall and Selby corps and, according to the score notes at least, it was during his soldiership at Selby that he wrote this attractive piece whilst on service with the RAF.
Barrie Hingley OBE
Lieut-Col. Charles Skinner’s score comments state, “This is bandsman Hingley’s first contribution to Army music, but we look forward to much more from his obviously able pen.” Well Barrie, it may have been nearly 50 years since the last one, but surely it’s not too late to have one more?
TS 799, publ. 1976
Dr David Greenhorne
The effectiveness and attractiveness of this well-crafted arrangement is surely in its simplicity, which no doubt enabled countless SA bands to ‘throw’ it on the stand for a short-notice Sunday evening worship item. The popularity of this piece meant it was another selected for the 1993 Triumph Series favourites book.
Composer David Greenhorne has roots at Yeovil corps where he joined as a teenager and for a time served as Songster Leader. A talented musician, he has penned many works including musicals for the young people of Yeovil corps – some of which were used at the local Divisional Music School. He now lives in retirement in Bristol, UK.
8. Song Arrangement - THE WONDROUS STORY (21%)
US 140, publ. 1990
This foot-tapping arrangement is a straight-from-SATB setting of the composer’s own song of the same name, published in Musical Salvationist, January 1987. Like the song, this brass setting is brisk and energetic. It is a fine example of a practical piece that smaller ensembles can play with relatively little rehearsal. This piece is another to have been subsequently republished in a favourites book (no. 50 in Unity Series Marches & Hymn Settings).
Gordon Camsey is known to most SA brass fans as a long-serving member of the ISB trombone section. Since 2011 he has been leading the band at Leighton Buzzard corps, UK.
FS 363, publ. 1974
This piece - a short two-minute prelude - begins in fugue form which quickly develops to a single presentation of the tune to which the words, ‘How wonderful it is to walk with God’ are associated. The fanfare-like melody is presented by cornet and trombones, interspersed with smooth chorale-like motifs from the mellow instruments. It has not been recorded much but has clearly proven popular in meetings and festivals over the years; hence its place at no. 7 in this list.
At the age of 14 Robert Getz was commissioned as a Bandmaster – the youngest on record in the USA Central Territory. A talented musician, he was Euphonium soloist with the Chicago Staff Band for a number of years. He is brother-in-law to Norman Bearcroft and today lives in Newaygo, Michigan. He continues to write marches and other compositions.
6. Transcription - FOLK DANCES (28%)
Shostakovich trs. Torgny Hanson
FS 512, publ. 1994
Folk Dances was originally the third movement of a suite for orchestra entitled Native Leningrad, Op. 63, first published in 1942. In 1970 it was re-released with a new title – My Native Country. Shostakovich collected several Russian folk tunes into this composition.
Hanson’s transcription came to popularity during Robert Redhead’s leadership of the ISB in the early 1990s. It was a popular programme item at the time and was featured on the ISB’s repertoire album Fanfare of Praise (1994).
Nowadays Torgny Hanson works as a freelance conductor, teacher and lecturer in his homeland of Sweden and serves as Bandmaster of the Stockholm South (formerly Stockholm VII) band.
5. March - GLORYLAND (33%)James Harris
TS 224, publ. 1935
Friends from Sheffield Citadel corps, UK tell me that for a time, this march was the signature March of Sheffield Citadel YP Band, where James Harris served as Young People’s Band Leader. During his time at the corps ‘Jim’ also served in the corps band as an Eb Bass player and Band Secretary.
Jim apparently penned another march called Pinstone (unpublished), named after the street around the corner from the old Citadel buildings where the former South Yorkshire DHQ was situated.
Gloryland was reprinted in the Triumph Series ‘Favourites no. 2’ book. Coincidentally it is the second march on this list to feature the tune ‘Shall you, shall I?’
4. March - NORWICH CITADEL (43%)
Lt-Col. Albert Drury
GS 1652, publ. 1973
It’s unclear when exactly this vibrant traditional street march was written. According to RS-A’s score notes, the connection with the title is that prior to entering the training college, the composer was Bandmaster at Norwich Citadel corps. This was an appointment he took up at the age of 27.
The march features two tunes. The first is a chorus associated with veterans of Norwich Citadel corps, O the Lamb. There are some who believe that this march was formerly called ‘Ambassadors’, though I’ve not yet seen evidence for that (please correct me if I’m wrong!) Presumably this view is held because the second chorus, which comes in at the trio is from a chorus of the Ambassadors session of cadets, of which the composer was Cadet’s Bandmaster in the early 1950s.
Interestingly, Albert is the grandfather of British SA composer Paul Drury, who to date has had a number of compositions published in the journals.
TS 1041, publ. 1996
Hailing from Manitoba, Canada, Ty Watson is a school teacher now living in Brampton, Ontario. He has written many works for band, some of which have been recorded and played both inside and outside the SA. He is a former member of the Mississauga Temple corps and the Canadian Staff Band.
This piece – a foot-tapping and accessible swing arrangement – is surely one of his most popular. Nearly half surveyed had played it.
2. Cornet Solo - THIS IS MY STORY (51%)
GS 1926, publ. 1996
This compact yet energetic cornet solo burst on to the scene in the early 1990s. It gives the old hymn Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine a bit of a party feel and was quickly picked up by cornet soloists of the time. The work still sounds fresh and continues to be popular. It has been subsequently reprinted in the Favourite Marches & Hymn Settings book.
Swedish-born Krister Lundkvist is a trumpet player and pianist and is a well-known in his native land as a composer, musician and producer. He has written music for a Swedish military band and one day would like to write more for brass. Well Krister, what are you waiting for?
1. March - ROUSSEAU (81%)Ray Ogg
GS 1172, publ. 1940
It’s not hard to see why this march - based around the tune of the same name - regularly proves it has truly stood the test of time. Its sparkle and pizazz continue to make it a popular programme choice for those wanting to present a foot-tapping, traditional march. The magic ingredients being its brilliant technical passages combined with the sonority of the chorale.
Rousseau was a result of Ogg’s private studies with Emil Söderström, who was teaching him about suspensions. The result was the harmonisation of the tune at the trio. The march is another on this list subsequently reprinted for a Favourites book.
A product of the Peoria corps (Illinois), Ogg served with the Chicago Staff Band for 16 years as a trombone soloist, deputy bandmaster and then bandmaster. Aside from some early hymn arrangements, Rousseau was Ogg’s only publication made available to the wider SA world. How we wish that could be different!
If it was down to me alone, I would have opted for some other favourites too: Simon Birkett’s Gladness (US 187, publ. 1995) is an attractive Unity Series march, whilst I’ve enjoyed David Daw’s recording of the John Allan Cornet Solo Memories (FS140, publ. 1946) on his album Golden Slippers (1999). It doesn’t sound that dated and I wish it were played more. George McLoughlin’s march Northern New England (ABJ 126, publ. 1954) is an excellent march; well within the reach of most groups and still popular Stateside.
What a remarkable situation we are presented with. Consider the popularity of these 10 pieces for instance. Most of them continue to be played today (a factor in that will be that eight of the ten have been reprinted in favourite books), and with one march Ray Ogg has probably featured on more programmes and recordings than many composers with a great deal more published works to their name.
What also struck me as significant about these pieces (and others they represent), is that they have captured just one moment in time; there is a life-snapshot attached to each of these pieces. In each case the composers were active Salvationists at the time of their composition. They were writing music, yes, but quite often they were also band members, local officers or even Salvation Army officers. None of the ten writers here could have known just how popular and useful their pieces would become, yet freely they gave of their time and energy to serve the Kingdom through the mechanisms of the Army. Let’s not too easily lay these pieces to rest. For most of us they are a one-shot chance; our only opportunity to recall the writers and the stories associated with the music.
Perhaps, one day, another piece might come from those who are still with us. In the meantime, I wonder will you - as I have - read through the list and thank God for each composer and each family, band & corps represented – each ‘moment in time’? I do hope so.
In compiling this article my thanks goes to William Himes (via Andrew Wainwright), Dean Jones, Derek Lush, Norman Short and Steef Klepke (via his book The Golden Pen) for help with a few of the details. I am indebted to the survey respondents, too. 63 left anonymous responses, whilst the 37 who optionally left their name were:
1. Peter Bale, UK
2. Matthew Bennett, UK
3. Nick Brown, UK
4. Jon Bond, UK
5. David Catherwood, UK
6. Major Fred Clarke, USA
7. William Clarke, USA
8. Ray Collins, UK
9. David Davis, Australia
10. Nkosentsha Vincent Donga, South Africa
11. Scott Dunn, UK
12. Peter Elliott, UK
13. Tim England, UK
14. Campbell Freeman, UK
15. Robert Fuykkink, Netherlands
16. Ashley Griffin, UK
17. John Hanchett, UK
18. Darren Hancock, Canada
19. Richard Hope, UK
20. Graeme Howan, New Zealand
21. David Howell, UK
22. George Humes, UK
23. Gordon Kirsopp, UK
24. Craig Lewis, Canada
25. John Murdock, UK
26. Micah Parsons, UK
27. Ralph Pearce, USA
28. Colin Ring, Isle of Man
29. Olaf Ritman, Netherlands
30. Nicholas J. Samuel, UK
31. Tom Scheibner, USA
32. Corrine Shimmon, UK
33. Norman Short, UK
34. Martyn Thomas, USA
35. Marcus Venables, Canada
36. Eric Walker, Canada
37. Malcolm Westwood, UK
The 100 pieces surveyed:
A. Pre-1939 marches
1. Becontree (W Hopkins) TS176, publ. 1932
2. Bexleyheath (Saggers) TS144, publ. 1930
3. Fighting On (P. Kirk) TS180, publ. 1932
4. Fighting On (Law) GS762, 1917
5. Freedom (G Wright) TS148, publ. 1930
6. Freedom from Sin (French) GS1044, publ. 1932
7. Friendship (Laurie) TS193, publ. 1933
8. Gloryland (Harris) TS224, publ. 1935
9. Haste Away (King) TS76, publ. 1926
10. Launch Out (Challinor) TS268, publ. 1938
11. Mercy (W Anderson) GS1072, publ. 1933
12. Melody (Keeler) TS232, publ. 1936
13. Starry Crown (Liddle) TS192, publ. 1933
14. The Advance (Cotterill) GS967, publ. 1927
15. The Bentinck March (Siddle) TS10, publ. 1922
16. The Better Land (Goutcher) TS184, publ. 1933
17. The Company Guard (E Taylor) TS38, publ. 1924
18. The Daring Salvationist (T Storey) GS770, publ. 1917
19. The Dartford March (Osborne) GS820, publ. 1919
20. The Brighton March (Gravett) GS811, publ. 1919
21. The Nelson March (A Wilkinson) GS763, publ. 1917
22. The Pontypool March (Denham) GS882, publ. 1922
23. The U.S.A (T Malpass) GS632, publ. 1911
24. The Westgate March (J Welch) GS926, publ. 1924
25. Tottenham Citadel (Dockray) GS1108, publ. 1936
26. Undying Love (L Hopkins) TS47, publ. 1924
B. Post-1940 marches
27. Anchor (Shiels) TS1037, publ. 1996
28. Beccles (Coggle) TS491, publ. 1952
29. Bond of Friendship (Gravelt) GS902, publ. 1962
30. Burgess Hill (E. Cuell) US223, publ. 1998
31. Eston (Blott) GS1522, publ. 1963
32. Forward to Victory (E Edwards) TS479, publ.1952
33. Gladness (Birkett) US187, publ. 1995
34. Glorious Service (Hingley) TS660, publ. 1964
35. Happy Evermore (G Turner) GS1418, publ. 1955
36. Heavenward Bound (Bartlett) TS532, publ. 1955
37. Jesus’ Praise (Lawson) TS560, publ. 1957
38. Joyful Song (Chase) ABJ34, publ. 1957
39. Land of Promise (Millward) ABJ49, publ. 1960
40. Leeds Central Young People (Wood) US190, publ. 1995
41. Lewisham Young People (Caudle) TS840, publ. 1979
42. Maesteg Young People (S Jones) US157, publ. 1992
43. Mancunian (N Hall) TS744, publ. 1971
44. Matchless Love (Froude) GS1220, publ. 1943
45. Northern New England (McLoughlin) ABJ26, publ. 1954
46. Resolute Soldiers (Verkaaik) GS1410, publ. 1955
47. Return to Russia (Zhuravlyov) GS1894, publ. 1994
48. Staines (W Hall) TS376, publ. 1945
49. The Army Spirit (Norris) TS317, publ. 1941
50. The Battle Cry (Garsegg) GS1656, publ. 1974
51. The Conquering Spirit (Patterson) GS1225, 1943
52. Troy Temple (Dimond?) ABJ77, publ. 1969
53. Norwich Citadel (A Drury) GS1652, publ. 1973
54. Rousseau (Ogg) GS1172, publ. 1940
C. Smaller Song Arrangements & Meditations
55. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – A Christmas Trilogy (Lyons) ABJ76, publ. 1967
56. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – Hanover (Tinshall) GS1388-2, publ. 1953
57. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – Holy Spirit Come, O Come (G Robinson) TS807, publ. 1977
58. Meditation – I Come to Thee (S Johnson) GS1575, publ. 1967
59. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – I Do Believe (Cocker-Hunt) US170, publ. 1993
60. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – Just Like Him (Twitchen) TS956, publ. 1989
61. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – Melcombe (Greenhorne) TS799, publ. 1976
62. Meditation – ‘Neath the Cross (Strehle) ABJ75, publ. 1967
63. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – Ottawa (Groves) GS1325-2, publ. 1950
64. Meditation on Passion Chorale (Cruft) FS422-2, publ. 1982
65. Meditation – St Clements (Walkden) GS1322, publ. 1949
66. Meditation – St Columba (Jacobs) TS562, publ. 1957
67. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – Stephanos (H Green) GS1703, publ. 1978
68. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – The Blessing (Scheibner) ABJ114, publ. 1981
69. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – The Wondrous Story (G Camsey) US140, publ. 1990
70. Hymn Setting/Song Arr – To Him Belong (Laken) GS1978, publ. 2001
71. Two Song Arrangements (P Babb) GS1930, publ. 1997
72. Meditation – The Pure in Heart (Dorow) GS1667, publ. 1975
73. Meditation – Wareham (Black) GS1062, publ. 1933
D. Larger Concert works (Selections, Suites etc)
74. Selection – A Child's Prayer (Burrell) US68, publ. 1964
75. Selection – A Seeker’s Prayer (Needham) ABJ70, publ. 1966
76. Transcription – Awake, Awake, Put on thy strength (H Young) TS915, publ. 1986
77. Selection – Calvary (P Hall) TS286, publ. 1936
78. Prelude – Ellers (Getz) FS 363, publ. 1974
79. Transcription – Folk Dances (Hanson) FS512, publ. 1994
80. Transcription – God is a Spirit (Bennett) GS1143-1, publ. 1938
81. Festival Arrangement – Gospel Bells (D Taylor) US176, publ. 1994
82. Selection – How Sweet the Name (Reid) ABJ66, publ. 1966
83. Spiritual – Joshua! (Morgan) US228, publ. 1998
84. Air Varie – Joy (Newbiggin) TS323, publ. 1941
85. Transcription – O Disclose thy lovely face (C Bright) TS839-2, publ. 1979
86. Selection – Penitence (Springate) TS489, publ. 1952
87. Transcription – Sun of my Soul (E Turner) GS1274, publ. 1946
88. Festival Arrangement – Swing Hosanna (T Watson) US1041, publ. 1996
89. Suite – The Colours (Spicer) GA1918, publ. 1996
90. Selection – The Glory of the Cross (Lodge) ABJ6, publ. 1948
E. Solos, ensembles etc
91. Cornet Solo – Heavenly Rejoicings (Hedgren) GS1148, publ. 1938
92. Trombone Ensemble – In Happy Service (Hooton) GS1456, publ. 1958
93. Cornet Solo – Lover of the Lord (Parkins) ABJ15, publ. 1950
94. Cornet Solo – Memories (Allan) FS140, publ. 1946
95. Cornet Solo – Over Me (Lundgren) TS531, publ. 1955
96. Trombone Solo – The Bellringer (Wallace) TS1283-1, publ. 1947
97. Cornet Solo – This is my story (Lundkvist) GS1926, publ. 1996
98. Cornet Solo – To Serve His Will (Hynd) US233, publ. 1998
99. Cornet Solo - What a Friend (Freeh) ABJ131, publ. 1985*
100. Double Quartet – Wondrous Truth (Brevik) FS339, publ. 1791
*I later learned that Mark Freeh had one other worked published in the American Band Journal (USA Eastern), so this entry was omitted from the results.
Interestingly, there were 13 pieces that none of the 100 respondents had played:
1. Becontree (W Hopkins) TS176, publ. 1932
2. Haste Away (King) TS76, publ. 1926
3. Melody (Keeler) TS232, publ. 1936
4. The Bentinck March (Siddle) TS10, publ. 1922
5. The Company Guard (E Taylor) TS38, publ. 1924
6. The Daring Salvationist (T Storey) GS770, publ. 1917
7. The Nelson March (A Wilkinson) GS763, publ. 1917
8. The Westgate March (J Welch) GS926, publ. 1924
9. Anchor (Shiels) TS1037, publ. 1996
10. Bond of Friendship (Gravelt) GS902, publ. 1962
11. Matchless Love (Froude) GS1220, publ. 1943
12. Transcription – Awake, Awake, Put on thy strength (H Young) TS915, publ. 1986
13. Cornet Solo – Over Me (Lundgren) TS531, publ. 1955
(this enhanced version June 2014)