The Bedford Congress Hall Band began its ministry in 1890 and has continued to serve the community of Bedford throughout the 126 years to date.
As with many Salvation Army bands right across "The Army World" we at Bedford Congress Hall have a proud history of service most notably being the first ever Salvation Army Band to enter HMP to conduct a service for the inmates starting a tradition that has been echoed right around the world.
The purpose and vision of the Band is fundamentally an extension and integral part of the mission of the BCH Corps. In this respect we support all aspects of the worship; respond positively to the request of those responsible for leading worship; and provide the most appropriate and sensitive musical contributions in the meetings.
We are constantly looking at how we can engage more effectively with the community, explore new ways to engage with the people of the town.
The band rehearsal is held on Thursday evenings at 7:30 in our main hall: this is an open rehearsal, and are always pleased to receive visitors.
Feature pieces played by the band.
To celebrate the Band's 125 year anniversary in 2015, Ian Raynor composed a march to commemorate the event. Ian grew up in Bedford and was a soldier at Bedford Congress Hall before moving away and was latterly Bandmaster at Northampton East Corps of The Salvation Army. This march called Bedford 125 draws on a number of influences, not least of which is the fact that the Bedford Congress Hall Band was the first ever Salvation Army Band to go into one of HM Prisons and hence starting a tradition that has lasted more than 100 years - that of Salvation Army Band's Prison Ministry, you will hear the strains of the song with words "He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free." coming through the piece. A feature of the march is what has become known as "The Bedford Anthem" a tune to which we sing the words "Deepen in me thy work of grace, teach me to do thy Holy will, help me to live a spotless life, and all thy Holy laws fulfil." Words found in The Salvation Army songbook (old 649) (new 800). Listen below to the march.
Selected pieces played by the band.