Stowmarket Young People (1994)

Unity Series 203 (publ. 1996)
Duration: approx. 2:10

This march takes me back a few years. My memory fails me in how I got asked to write this - I've a feeling it was the Young People's band leader at Stowmarket SA at the time. What I do remember, however, is that long before the days of Sibelius software, there was a programme called Notator (click the link to see how outrageously dated it is now!) which ran on the Acorn Electron PC platform. 

Official Unity Series Recording

Stowmarket Young People.mp3

I eventually bought a souped-up Electron PC, a copy of Notator and a Yamaha synth (I had my friends Phil and Julia drive me the whole way from London to Manchester to buy it all!)  But before I had my own equipment my good friend Duncan Sutton kindly originated this march on his Electron PC (I remember he did this for Love Incarnate, too). All I had to do was bring my 3.5" floppy to his house (what's the matter kids - don't you know what one of those is?!) Once the parts were printed, members of Duncan's corps band at Chatham SA played it through for me.

I remember that once the score was submitted to Music Editorial, it was returned to me having being reviewed by (none other than) legendary brass band composer Lt-Col. Ray Steadman-Allen. I remember only one of his comments, written in pencil on the score, the bar before the first section. He circled some semi-quavers (sixteenth notes) and wrote 'unnecessarily awkward' next to them!

Suffice to say I had to tone-down one or two bits (the blood does rush to one's head when composing, sometimes!), re-submit, and eventually it was accepted.  No emails in those days, just a brown internal office envelope from Music Editorial containing a signed letter signed in pen (sheesh, I'm old). I guess Richard Phillips would have been the head of Music Editorial at that time...? Can't remember. Anyhow I was thrilled to hear that it was to be published.

Salvationists will be familiar with the first song, Since Jesus came into my heart but not perhaps so the second tune at the trio.  I believe it is a song which may have been unique to Stowmarket corps. Without a copy of the score I can't accurately recall the words, but I know it starts with 'What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful [blank]...'!

**Update 7 Aug 2011**
It turns out the chorus is not unique to Stowmarket corps (thanks to Morvyn Finch and Rachel Hartley for their help!)  The words are:

What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing
To be free from sin and have Christ within;
To be made a joint heir with Jesus my Lord,
What a wonderful, wonderful thing!

I can't locate an author/composer for that song, so if you know who wrote it please leave a comment below or contact me. 

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