The Morriston Citadel Songster Brigade was formed by Adjutant Amos Woodger and comissioned in March 1943 under the leadership of Songster Leader John Heaney. To date it has only had four leaders including the present one. Some attempt was made to form a brigade many years before but it never functioned.
Morriston Citadel Songsters has acquired a reputation for fine singing, and has traveled extensively throughout England, Wales and the Channel Islands – visiting well over 60 corps. The songsters also made an overseas tour to Sweden in September 1977, which lasted 10 days and was very successful in every respect, visiting 13 corps. This tour meant that the songsters were the first Welsh brigade to undertake an overseas tour.
The songsters have been chosen to sing three times as the’solo’ brigade at National Songster Festivals and was featured in the first, second and fourth series of the radio series ‘Banners and Bonnets’. They have had the privilege of being part of the Chorus for the International Congress at Wembley in 1978 when recording the ‘Meet the Composers’ and ‘ Day of Salvation’ LP’s.
Also the songsters took part in the Welsh Centenary Celebrations in Llandaff Cathederal, Cardiff in September 1974 and at the British Congress in Bristol’s Colston Hall in 1976. The songsters have sung in front of Salvation Army Generals including Generals Wilfred Kitching, Frederick Coutts, Erik Wickberg, Arnold Brown, Eva Burrows and Linda Bond, and also took part in ‘A Day with the General’ meetings at Westminster Central Hall under the leadership of General Arnold Brown in November 1980.
The Songsters appeared in a HTV Television Religious programme from Cardiff and, in 1986, was featured in the Salvation Army video ‘The Love of God’.
In addition to the above the Brigade is totally involved in all corps activities and Divisional meetings and special events when called upon. They sing at Old People’s Homes and in local Churches in the district, a ministry greatly appreciated.
Other than the brigades first leader, the other past leaders were Songster Leaders Eric Lear, Chris Lear and Steven Halfpenny. The present leader in his second period as leader is Songster Leader Chris Lear. Chris leads this fine group of 30 singers. Rehearsals are on Tuesday at 7.30pm where you are welcome to come and have a listen as we prepare for our contributions to our Sunday worship and for up coming concerts.
Although the style of music may have changed through the years the message that the songsters sing to those who hear is still the same message that God is Love.