More Green Book Favourites
Another 16 well known compositions from the much loved 'Green Book Favourites'
Since 1921, The Salvation Army’s Triumph Series Journal (named the Second Series until 1953) published music generally aimed at smaller and/or younger bands. In 1939, a first book of ‘favourites’ was published, followed in 1968 by the Triumph Series Favourites (No. 2) book, which soon became commonly referred to as ‘the Green Book’.
As the name suggests, this was a collection of music published in the preceding years which had found a high degree of popularity among the bands which regularly used the Triumph Series Journal.
On this second combination of music from the Green Book, we feature music originally published between 1935 and 1961. As with the previous album, the featured composers include some of The Salvation Army’s well known from this era, while also including one or two less prolific contributors to The Salvation Army’s journals.
- Workers Together
A march from Commissioner (then Captain) Stanley Ditmer, whose most well-known contribution to Salvation Army music is the song ‘I’m in his hands’. His march Workers Together, published a couple of years after that song was written, is clearly American in style and features the chorus ‘Win them one by one’.
- A Life of Trust
Published while Michael Kenyon was bandmaster at Hadleigh Temple Corps, his selection A Life of Trust features three songs on the theme of trust: ‘I know He cares for me’, ‘Casting all your care on Him’ and ‘God is not far away’. Ending with a reprise of the opening melody, the composer reminds us that ‘I’ll trust in my Father in Heaven, for I know that He cares for me’.
- Constant Trust
George Marshall’s bright selection Constant Joy features ‘Singing as we journey’, ‘I am happy’ and ‘Joy in the Salvation Army’.
- Stapleford Citadel
Charles Dove’s march Stapleford Citadel, named after his own Corps and featuring the melody ‘Haste away to Jesus’, won first prize in the Army’s International Music Competition (Section IV) in 1947, so its publication the following year was eagerly awaited. The score notes indicate that “…the key signature may prove a little disturbing for some at first glance, especially horn and Eb Bass players…”. Clearly, playing in three sharps was not familiar territory in the 1940s!
- Songs of Testimony
The selection Songs of Testimony was Norman Bearcroft’s second contribution to the Triumph Series, and features three Sidney E Cox songs: ‘You can tell out the sweet story’, ‘A sure hiding place’ and ‘The pathway of duty’. It is typically buoyant in style and you may spot one of two ‘moves’ used by the composer with great success in later and more substantial works.
- Before the Cross
Before the Cross is a great example of Ray Steadman Allen’s craftsmanship, published when he was a Cadet Sgt. Major at The Training College. He uses the melodies ‘Near the Cross’, ‘Draw me nearer’ and ‘To Thy cross I come Lord’ and weaves them together into a restful selection which ends with a clear challenge for the listener to endorse the statement ‘Then I from this hour shall follow Thee’.
The oldest item on this disc is the march Gloryland, which we believe is James Harris’ only contribution to SA Band journals. The bass melody uses the chorus: Shall you, shall I meet Jesus by and by? And when we reach the Glory Land, We’ll swell the song of the angel band Shall you, shall I meet Jesus by and by?
A simple three verse setting of the melody Bullinger was the first contribution to the Triumph Series of Milton Kippax, and only the second inclusion of a hymn setting in the Journal. With this melody we associate the words of Frances Ridley Havergal: I am trusting thee, Lord Jesus, Trusting only Thee; Trusting Thee for full salvation, great and free.
- A Testimony of Praise
Ray Bowes’ positive selection A Testimony of Praise features three melodies: ‘Praise Him with melody’, ‘The giver of good’ (the composer’s own song) and ‘The old, old story is ever, ever new’.
Exultation is a well-known march, written by (then) Band Instructor Ray Allen, which uses a little known chorus as its bass solo: The promise is true, for the glory rolls, ‘Tis rolling over me just now.
- Glory Bound
Based around the old song ‘Travelling on the good old way’ (published for Songsters in the early part of the 20th century), the Air Varié Glory Bound appears to offer a thematic parallel with the same composer’s The Present Age, in that the traveller initially sets out in a positive, perhaps care-free manner, before encountering the reality that ‘The path is very narrow’ (heard in minor, then major key). Overcoming this difficulty, the original melody returns, before the traveller receives the encouragement: ‘Never mind, go on!’ The coda offers a sense of arrival for the traveller, ending with a Walton-esque fanfare.
- Be Glad In the Lord
Published while the composer, a member of the Music Editorial Department, was serving King and Country, Donald Osgood’s bright selection Be Glad in the Lord uses the songs ‘Rejoice my soul’, ‘Praising God’ (or ‘Loving Him who first loved me’) and ‘Be glad in the Lord’.
- Duke Street
Published in the same issue as Exultation, the march Duke Street was the first contribution to the Triumph Series of Bandsman Leslie Condon, of Fakenham Corps – that being the Norfolk town to which he was evacuated during World War Two. In his score notes, Charles Skinner comments: “The standard of this first published effort leaves one to expect further useful work from our comrade’s pen”. Something of an understatement that proved to be!
- St Agnes
Kenneth Cook’s meditation on St Agnes is a beautiful three verse setting of the words ‘Jesus the very thought of Thee’ attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153).
- The Martial Hosts
Described as an Air Varié, it consists of four short variations based on fragments of the tune Onward Christian Soldiers. The title is taken from the first verse of Charles Collier’s song: Hark! The sounds of singing coming on the breeze, Notes of triumph winging over lands and seas. Martial hosts assemble, flushed with victory, Hell’s battalions tremble and prepare to flee!
George Marshall’s march Welcome, features the chorus ‘Welcome Home’. It seems an appropriate ending to what will for many listeners have been a trip down memory lane. We hope that in listening, your desire to one day receive that welcome home – the faithful Christian’s eternal reward in Heaven – will have been strengthened, or perhaps re-kindled in some way – and who knows, perhaps we’ll see you there!
Be the first to know
Enter your email address below to be the first to know about new events or releases.