SASWE at Worthing

The welcome return visit of the Salvation Army Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SASWE) to WORTHING marked its own 25th anniversary and the 135th of the home corps band. As the opening piece stated, it was a ‘Cause for Celebration’. However, there was from the start no doubt that it was Jesus who was celebrated throughout the weekend.

SASWE at Worthing

The Saturday evening festival was compered by the SASWE co-founder and bandmaster Andrew Mackereth in his inimitable user-friendly style. He had immediate rapport with the audience which included some who came simply because of a mention in the local paper. The music comprised compositions and arrangements by present and former SASWE members Alan Laken, Michael Babb, Kevin Horner and the bandmaster, and included thought-provoking reflection from flautist Lieutenant Kate Gregory and three gospel songs from the corps songsters.

Five members of Worthing Band were among the SASWE instrumentalists – six if you include corps officer Major Marian Parker who sat in with the percussion on the Sunday. The morning worship took as its theme ‘There is Room’, the title of a new piece by Bandmaster Mackereth based on the song ‘Thou didst leave thy throne’. Percussionist Mark Hamilton and clarinettist Rachel Frost testified, and SASWE chaplain and saxophonist Peter Bale gave the Bible message. The band played again after the benediction, and when the bandmaster turned to the congregation with the remark ‘Do you want another?’ the immediate and enthusiastic response was evidence of the attractiveness and effectiveness of the SASWE mission.

Three Centre Visit to Help Kenya

SASWE (Salvation Army Symphonic Wind Ensemble ) assembled in Bristol from all parts of the UK territory to help raise much needed funds for The Kenya Trust.

SASWE at Bristol

Hosted by Bristol Easton the Saturday concert was presented at Staple Hill, due to renovations taking place in the host corps building. A full hall enjoyed a varied programme, compered in an amiable fashion by SASWE’s leader, Andrew Mackereth, supported by Bristol Easton Songsters. A highlight was both groups combining to perform Dry your tears Africa which gave a real flavour of the continent.

Sunday morning worship was conducted by the group at Bristol Citadel where congregations from both Easton and Citadel combined, and were supported by the Citadel Songster Brigade.  The week-end concluded with lunch in the Community Hall at Bristol Easton, for members of SASWE and their hosts.

A total of over £3000 was raised which will go towards providing improved library facilities for the SA Children’s Home in Mombasa. The Trustees acknowledge thanks to Staple Hill and Bristol Citadel corps and SASWE who provided a Christian music message with a difference.      – MO

SASWE at the Wedding of the Year

A group of SASWE members were honoured to play at the wedding of the year this summer.

Thank you to Ellie and Josh for having us – it was a truly wonderful celebration of love and friendship and we were honoured to play a small part.

SASWE at Ellie and Josh's Wedding

SASWE at Ellie and Josh's Wedding

SASWE in Bristol – Venue Information

Due to works taking place at Bristol Eastern Salvation Army, the venue for SASWE’s visit to Bristol for The Kenya Trust has changed.

Saturday 6th October, 7pm 
21 Broad Street, Staple Hill, Bristol BS16 5LN

Sunday 7th October, 10am
6 Ashley Road, Bristol BS6 5NL


SASWE in Bristol, Poster

SASWE at Shipley

There was an air of purpose and anticipation as members of the Salvation Army Symphonic Wind Ensemble converged on Shipley on Saturday.  Despite the majority of the band having travelled extensive distances, they were soon practising hard to put the finishing touches to their musical programme.

SASWE at Shipley

Planning for the event had begun a couple of years earlier when an invitation was extended after hearing the playing and enjoying the ministry when the band visited Brighouse.

As darkness fell and the audience began to gather, there was a renewing of friendships together with those coming to hear this unique group for the first time.  Despite the nervousness about the very young baby right on the front row, it was clear from the very first notes that the capacity audience were in for an entertaining evening.

SASWE at Shipley

The band, under the direction of Andrew Mackereth, provided an exciting and varied programme which offered something to appeal to everyone.  From the opening celebration, ‘Réjouissance’ (A Laken) to the concluding challenge, ‘The Presence and the Power’ (A Mackereth), the music married excitement, precision and sensitivity.

The evening included lots of audience participation.  In addition to the congregational songs, everyone was invited to sing a long with Shipley Worship Group as they presented a ‘Spiritual Medley’ and ‘I will follow you’.  There was also plenty of singing to the band pieces, although Barrie Hingley’s arrangement of ‘Marching to the Devil’s Tunes’ might not have seen everyone singing from the same hymnsheet.

Report: SASWE at Brighton Congress Hall

Brighton Congress Hall was the first Saturday engagement of the season for the Salvation Army Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SASWE). A large congregation gathered to hear a very good evening of music from this fine ensemble of musicians from all  areas of the country under the leadership of Bandmaster Andrew Mackereth.

At brighton congress hall

Pieces ranged from the march ‘Rejouissance’ written by a former member of the group, the late Alan Laken, to two new items one written by Retired Songster Leader Michael Babb, also a former member for many years and a valued composer, ‘I bring my heart to Jesus’ the second by Bandmaster Andrew Mackereth, ‘The Presence and the Power’.

Special mention was made of the Promotion to Glory of Songster Leader Maisie Wiggins who, until last year was a very loyal member of the ensemble since it began more than twenty years ago. As a tribute to her, Andrew composed a piece which included parts of solos Maisie had played, and choruses and melodies which were personal to her family.

The Corps community choir ‘All Aloud’ were included in the evening and brought a good selection of secular songs.

Other items included some Army classics which had been transposed by member Kevin Horner.

Many comments were made that the programme provided many varied and well played items making the event a great evening of fellowship and music making.

As a fitting gesture to Retired Songster Leader Michael Babb for all his contributions to the ensemble, a souvenir picture was taken of him with the band.

Bram Warren