The Shirley Band under David Bishop-Rowe kicked off their Autumn Season of concerts with a veritable feast for the visual and aural senses to a 200-strong audience at Cradley Heath Salvation Army Hall. Held for the Anniversary Weekend Celebrations of the branch’s Sunshine Club, the concert featured both the band and the brilliant local vocalist Hilary Crowhurst and was attended by special guest leaders Major and Mrs Calder. The band combined their performance with a backing of video links and slides, brilliantly crafted together by James Chamberlin and Chris Croft. This was a new innovation for the band and many complimentary comments were received afterwards on how this raised the concert experience to new levels for the audience. The band intends that this will only be the first of such ventures. Combining their recent Wychavon Contest Programme with items from the summer season, and the traditional Last Night of the Proms favourites, the band included solos from Principal Trombone Richard Nield and Principal Cornet Rob Green. Richard was subsequently joined by Andrew Yeomans and Jack Bond in “I Will Follow Him”, then later the trombones joined with Rob, Catherine Yates and Neil Fishburn of the cornet section for a special arrangement of the finale from “Music for the Royal Fireworks”. It was to be Principal Euphonium Kevin Short, who produced the outstanding performance of the evening however, with a virtuoso rendition of the Erik Leidzen air and variations, “Song of the Brother”. A surprise was in store for the MD’s mother Audrey, who was celebrating her 81st birthday at the concert, when the band struck up with not the traditional Happy Birthday, but the American Salvationist March “Roll Call”. Quite what was said by mother to son afterwards remains unknown!