Annual Pre-Contest Festival – Friday 14th October 2005

Garry AmbroseReports

Enfield Citadel Band at St John’s, Smith Square, London

ECB at St John's Smith Square

The beautiful surroundings of St John’s Smith Square were once again the setting for the 2005 Pre-Contest Festival. But this was no ordinary event, marking as it did the end of a lifetime of service to the band by Bandmaster James Williams MBE. A large crowd gathered to pay tribute to Bandmaster Williams including a number of former bandsmen, some of whom had travelled from Canada to be present (see Picture gallery). The band responded to the occasion in fine style and the reception reflected the high esteem in which the bandmaster continues to be held.

The programme featured the band and guest soloist Ben Godfrey, formerly principal cornet of the famous YBS Band and now freelance trumpet player. Compère for the second year was genial chef and television personality Brian Turner CBE.

Sharing the conducting during the evening was Andrew Blyth, who was commissioned as the new bandmaster the following Sunday. His able leadership of the band during the second half of the programme provided an immediate assurance that the band’s future is in good hands.

Read the British Bandsman report of this event.

View programme.

See the Picture gallery for more photographs.