I had the privilege of attending the ‘Fellowship Brass’ concert at Christchurch City Salvation Army on the 6 November. The concert featured the musical compositions of Lieutenant Grant Pitcher. Grant is currently appointed to the work and mission at Christchurch North Corps, but is also a brass band composer and arranger and in my opinion has been this country’s outstanding Salvation Army euphonium player for many years.
It is evident that he has dedicated his playing and compositions to the Glory of God and has found it a great way to be a witness to his faith in every band he has played in. During the concert, Grant said, ‘banding fellowship and music bring me life and draw me closer to God’.
The Christchurch City Corps Band played under the leadership of Martin Robertson, and the Addington Brass Band was led by Adrian Dalton. Both played mini-concerts, then combined to play several numbers before concluding the concert with that ever-so-beautiful New Zealand melody, ‘Pokarekare Ana’.
Stand-out items were Grant’s original tune ‘Highly Prized’ and ‘At home with God in Heaven’ which was dedicated to the memory of his son Timaeus. Also, the major work, ‘Variations on Amazing Grace’, is full of excitement with hints of the tune throughout but only featured in its entirety near the end of the piece.
Overall, it was good to acknowledge the musical works that have been inspired by a deep relationship with God and shaped by life events. Grant is an inspiration to many.
by Jim Downey, Creative Ministries Director, THQ