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Concert - 2012

 BBJ's 2012 concert was like no other!

For one thing, it was big, with at least 700 people in attendence. And the venue - the grand ballroom in Medan's Emerald Garden Hotel - was the most luxurious the band has played in so far! BBJ also played well, zipping through my brass band arrangements of "YMCA" and the theme from the Hawaii Five-O television series in a way that reflected the increased technical ability of band members since our last concert in 2008.

More than that, however, was the presence of the Adelaide Congress Hall (ACH) band. The arrival of this band, which travelled all the way from Australia just to be with us on the occasion, had been eagerly awaited for months. BBJ was celebrating its 25th anniversary, and for the first time in the band's history a foreign Salvation Army band had come to Medan to join us.

ACH was a good band too - a point not lost on BBJ members as they listened attentively to every note the Australian band played during our joint rehearsal on the previous Friday night (July 13).

But, as BBJ members soon learned, ACH was also different in another way. The Australians were a friendly group, eager to share both their love of God and their music with BBJ members.

BBJ began the concert with an arrangement of "Regent Square" by David Roswell, with the opening theme played boldly by the trombone section in a way that sought to convey the glory and majesty of God. Next came Henry Smith's "Give Thanks", arranged by Doug Court, as the band paid tribute to God's faithfulness during the 25 years of its existence. Only then did the band launch into the the disco themes so beloved by the band's young players.

Here's what we looked like:

BBJ in Action - concert 2012

Then it was the turn of BBJ's junior band. Led by junior bandmaster Deddy Agusta Purba, this enthusiastic 17-piece ensemble played a jazzed up version of "Just a Closer Walk" and a swing style arrangement of "Power in the Blood". But the real highlight was a cornet solo "His wonderful Love" played by Tema, a talented young man we hope will soon enter the senior band. I was as proud of the juniors as I was of the seniors!

Here is a picture of Tema playing his solo:

Tema's Solo - concert 2012

During the break, a local choir - the Gloria Patri Male Choir - entertained the crowd while ACH got ready for its turn on the podium.

ACH then delighted the audience for a full 45 minutes with a standard of brass band playing never before heard in the city! Their repertoire included the March "Witnesses" by Arthur Gullidge, "Stand Up for Jesus (Eric Silfverberg), and "Summon the Heroes" by John Williams. But the real highlight for most of those present was "Songs of Indonesia", a collection of Indonesian national folk songs originally arranged by ACH band member Gordon Collins for the band's visit to Jakarta in 1994. BBJ members, however, were probably more in awe of euphonium soloist Stuart Hamilton who played an arrangement of "Somewhere out There".

Here a picture of Mr Hamilton playing his solo:

Stuart Hamilton - concert 2012

Then came what both bands had really been waiting for - the "band bergabung" (combined band) session. With ACH, BBJ and representatives of Jakarta corps II band on stage, we played Ray Steadman Allen's arrangement of "They Shall Come from the East" - the moving anthem of Christian unity across nations and cultures written by Jhon Larsson. .

The combined band then played Hill Song favourite "My Jesus, My Savior" (Arr Keith Manners), before rounding out the session with "Anthem of the Free", a rousing march by Dean Goffin, one of the Salvation Army's finest composers.

After that came the obligatory encore. And what did we play? YMCA, of course!

Overall it was a highly successful concert that will be remembered by all for many years to come.

You can see some videos of the concert at the bottom of this page. I will soon be posting a lot more photographs on the BBJ Photo Gallery.

 

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