The sounds of music: ISB B/M and family in Pasadena

YOUTH FROM PASADENA TABERNACLE , introduced by Capt. Ed Loomis (center), greet B/M Stephen Cobb and Elaine Cobb, and sons Matthew and Philip.

The family of International Bandmaster/U.K. Territory Music Director Stephen Cobb added their musical excellence to the Pasadena Tabernacle Band’s annual Thanksgiving Festival during this recent holiday season.

Introductions of the family reminded the audience of the manner in which the famed Von Trapp family, featured in the musical “The Sound of Music,” was accomplished. The Cobbs featured the piano artistry of Cobb’s wife, Elaine, the cornet virtuosity of both 17-year-old Matthew and 14-year-old Philip as well as the perceptive and knowledgeable conducting of Cobb himself.

The Cobbs arrived in time for Stephen to conduct the band in three rehearsals prior to conducting all of the band items on the Saturday evening concert. His expertise in conducting and band training revealed itself as his continued “striving for excellence” revealed itself. “I’m a very patient person,” he stated to the band on a few occasions, “and I will not give up on this.” Besides leading, the ISB Cobb is the bandmaster of the highly acclaimed Hendon Corps Band, succeeding the eminent, now retired, Bandmaster James Williams.

Prior to turning the baton over to Cobb, Tabernacle Bandmaster Lambert Bittinger had selected a number of wide-ranging and challenging compositions for the concert. These included Dr. Peter Graham’s recent work, Renaissance, the old but intricate march One by One, William Gordon’s fanfare and hymn based on Laudes Domini, Andrew Mackereth’s contemporary rhythms in the spiritual Do Lord, and Trevor Davis’ beautiful rendition From Earth’s Confusion based on the song “Prayer Gently Lifts Me.” The Tabernacle Timbrels, led by Jackie Heatherington, performed at a rapid pace with Gordon’s Shine Down.

Both Matthew and Philip delighted and inspired the capacity audience with brilliant performances of demanding cornet solos, flawlessly presented with a maturity considerably beyond their years. Matthew played Eric Leidzen’s Tucker, a classical challenge for any cornet soloist. Philip amazed the audience with his confident and mature stage presence and with his outstanding skill in his presentation of William Himes’ Jubilance.

The tone qualities, artistic interpretations, and total mastery of the instrument revealed sincere dedication and commitment. Their father and teacher, Stephen, a former cornet soloist with the ISB, joined the boys with the cornet trio The Veterans.

Elaine Cobb accompanied her sons on other solos throughout the weekend and also delighted the audience with her interpretations of classical piano solos.

Captain Ed and Joyce Loomis, Tabernacle corps officers, provided a Thanksgiving devotional message and presented the Cob family with gifts of appreciation.

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