A Tribute to Salvation Army Musicians, Music and Composers

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John Ward's Castaway Tracks

1 Festival Arrangement - The Call of the Righteous, Enfield Citadel Band, Leslie Condon, BBRD1027, 1984
All of these tracks are ones that inspired when growing up and ones I often go back to today, they are still as fresh now as they were the first time I heard them. ECB, and in particular the Kaleidoscope recording, was a huge influence and every track on there is a Desert Island Disc track really, but I think this one sums up what that band was all about: excitement, precision, constant musical interest and some beautiful lyrical playing from Keith Hutchinson.

2 Carol - O Come, All Ye Faithful, ISB, Ray Steadman-Allen, SXLP50016, 1974
I am a sucker for big hymns and carols so this great RSA arrangement (played by a great band and conductor) is right up my street.

3 Princethorpe Variations, Canadian Staff Band, Kenneth Downie, SFC0490, 1990
This is the first ‘real’ band I heard live and remember the huge impact it had on me. When people talk about the great SA bands, I don’t think this CSB gets anywhere near the credit it deserves. It’s an outstanding group of players: Deryck Dyffey, Steve Brown, Clarence White, Ivor Snell, Kevin Hayward (on 2nd 2nd trombone!) to name a few and a superb band trainer in Brian Burditt, they produced some incredible sounds and performances. This one is my favourite: unbelievable playing from a non-competition band.

4 Cornet Solo - Songs in the Heart, New York Staff Band - Soloist - Philip Smith, Erik Leidzén, TRLPS36 1935
I couldn’t find the Principals release on this site, otherwise Blessed Assurance would have been one of the first tracks on there. In its absence I have gone Philip’s performance of Songs in the Heart. A beautiful solo played by someone who makes every note and phrase interesting!

5 Toccata, ISB, Heaton, SXLP50014, 1972
Another truly great piece played by a great band and conductor. It was a daring programme choice and the time as well. Wait for the last note…it should be everyone’s alarm clock!

6 Tone Poem - The Present Age, ISB, Leslie Condon, SAC5068, 1968
One of those performances where I wish I had been there for! It oozes commitment from the word go and the band never lets up. Full of drama and emotion, fantastic.

7 Tone Poem - The Holy War, ISB, Ray Steadman Allen. SLRZ4013, 1965
Another ‘I wish I had been there’ moments. A daring and controversial piece at the time and the impact in the hall must have been huge. The band is outstanding and it's an exhausting but brilliant experience listening to this version.

8 Corpus Christi, ISB, Robert Redhead, SPS101, 1994
I remember going to the RAH for the day to listen to this as my Dad’s Songsters were in the Chorus. I got to listen to the whole rehearsal and remember the ISB taking 10-15 minutes to 'top and tail' bits of Corpus Christi, a piece I’d never heard before and was so excited to hear the full performance and it had a profound effect on me. I’ve recently done some research into RR for a recording of his music to be released this year and when chatting to people in the ISB and CSB who had played under they always talk about his sense of occasion and his ability to inspire a real performance. People often refer to the 4-staff band recording as the one, but I prefer this one. It’s so emotionally charged and think it may have been RR’s last big night with the ISB before Steve Cobb took over.