The Salvation Army Band in my home town of Chatham, part of a conurbation of 5 towns in the South East of England known as the Medway Towns, celebrated their 135th anniversary in 2016 and this piece was composed as part of those celebrations.
I suppose to some degree all composers and lyricists are pioneers, always striving to write something different and new. Well, there has been a number of ‘creatives’ who at one time or another have been members of the Chatham Corps and this piece includes songs from some of those.
The opening motif is based on the 1st 3rd and 5th notes of the scale and after a short ‘fanfare-like’ introduction the tune of Blacklands (Ray Steadman-Allen) is heard in 4/4 time. This is followed by a song from Ray Jones, a former Bandmaster of the Corps entitled ‘On resurrection day’, a song for children’s voices published in 1971 and for mixed voices in 2009. Rosemary Steadman-Allen’s ‘To know and do thy will’ is at the heart of the link into ‘Everywhere’, a new setting of John Gowans’ words by Andrew Maycock (both former members) which is proving to be very popular at the moment. Finally, an arrangement of this composer’s setting of ‘Praise the Lord’ is used to bring this piece to its conclusion.
It was first performed on October 1st 2016 by the Chatham band under the leadership of Bandmaster Ray Maycock.