Archive for the 'Alf Wileman' Category


Remembrance Sunday Photos

Former bandsman Lawrence Broom took these photos of SCB at the Remembrance Sunday Service in Sheffield city centre.

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Alf’s Retirement Celebration

A capacity crowd filled Sheffield Citadel as the Band celebrated Alf Wileman’s 66years of Banding Service.  People travelled the length & breadth of the country to be there, such is the high level of regard of so many who have been encouraged and influenced by Alf particularly through his work with young people.  The congregation comprisedcurrent members of the Corps family, as well as a number of former Bandsmen and many of the “old” South Yorkshire division youth.

The evening commenced with the march Celebration – a fitting opener, during which former Bandsmen were invited to march into the hall behind the Band flag.  It was a tremendous sight and good to see so many people gathered together in recognition of all that Alf has done over the past 7 decades.

The evening was not just a celebration about Alf, but in this, the Band’s 130th anniversary year, it also celebrated the Band as a whole and the service of those who have gone before.  2 recent retirees from the Band: Roland Hill and Harold Fisher, were recognised for their services to Banding, having clocked up over 100 years between them.  Also, Barry Furmidge was enrolled as a Bandsman – Barry was taught to play many years ago by Alf and so it was fitting that he was commissioned into the Band as Alf retired.

Music during the evening had been chosen by Alf and included old favourite “Army of the Brave”, the classic “Constant Trust” and the contemporary “Glorifico Aeternum” which was enhanced with a helpful visual presentation and received rapturous applause from the congregation.

Alf’s youngest son, Andrew, presented the vocal solo “it’s been a wonderful day” and his daughter Hannah read a poem about Alf which she had written especially for the occasion.

Derick Kane was the guest soloist and conductor for the evening and he delighted the congregation with his renditions of “Bravura”, “Donegal Bay” and Alf’s request “Song of the Brother”.  Alf and Derick also blessedthe congregation with their sensitive playing of the euphonium duet “Brahms Lullaby”, bringing a tear to many eyes.

Messages had been received from around the world, from family, friends and former band colleagues, and a selection of these were presented during the evening: Maisie Wiggins congratulated Alf on his years of loyal service and added that his influence had been invaluable to so many people; Trombonist Nick Hudson, who was taught to play by Alf when he was a child, had many memories of time spent with Alf.  He spoke of the huge impact which Alf had had on his own life and added that no-one “deserves more recognition for their services to Salvation Army brass playing and services to young people.”

In his words of recognition to Alf, Bandmaster Keith Wileman told how he was privileged to represent all the Bandmasters under whom Alf has served over the many years and said how Alf’s playing has remained at a very high standard for all of those 66 years.  He added that Alf never complained and had never missed a beat on the march, no matter how far the Band was marching!

After receiving a standing ovation from the congregation, Alf, clearly moved, told how he has always had “a calling to be a Salvation Army Bandsman” and how he has strived to serve his Lord through his euphonium playing.  The influence he has had on so many people during that time cannot be measured but the love and appreciation for “the greatest Bandleader in the world” could clearly be seen in the faces of all those present.

More photos are available on our Facebook Group page


Photos of Alf’s Retirement Celebration

SCB open the festival with "Celebration"    


More photos are available on the

SCB Facebook group page



Celebrating Alf Wileman’s Banding

Alf Wileman is a name synonymous with Salvation Army banding, recognised the length & breadth of the country by countless Salvationist who have been taught & inspired by him.  After over 65 years service as a Bandsman at Sheffield Citadel, Alf has decided to hang up his instrument case and retire from active participation in the Band.

Alf was commissioned into the Senior Band back in 1943 starting off on solo horn, moving onto solo cornet and then soprano cornet before finally taking up his place on the Euphonium bench in 1949.  Some 60 years later, Alf is the Principal Euphonium player at Sheffield Citadel and his playing has blessed and inspired countless listeners over those years.

Alf’s service has not been confined to the ranks of the Senior Band at Sheffield and he is perhaps better known in Army circles for his work with young people.  In 1967, when there was no YP Band Leader in Sheffield, Alf volunteered to take on this task and hence began his 23 years in a role where many describe him as “the best Bandleader in the world”!  Such was his influence upon so many youngsters, that even now, decades later so many of them count it a privilege to have played under his leadership and are grateful for the positive influence and encouragement which he had upon them as youngsters.

Alf was the first Bandmaster of the South Yorkshire Divisional Youth Band, which he set up with Captain Jack Flounders, Divisional Youth Secretary at the time, back in 1980.  He was a natural choice for this role since he had been one of the original musical staff at the South Yorkshire Divisional Music School since its commencement in the 1960s, working alongside Maisie Wiggins for many years.

Alf finally put down his baton in 1990, retiring from the YP Band, Divisional Youth Band and Music School after many years working alongside the young people in South Yorkshire.  He continued in his peripatetic brass teaching until this summer, having taught & encouraged 100s if not 1000s of young people along the way.

As Alf now chooses to retire from active Salvation Army banding, Sheffield Citadel Band is celebrating his 60+ years of service with a festival at Sheffield Citadel on Saturday 10th September.  It is hoped that many will want to come along to share in this event and to mark everything that Alf has done for so many musicians within the Army world.

For more details about the Celebration email us.

This article appears in the current issue of The SA Bandsman


A celebration of over 60 years service

After over 60 years as a Bandsman at Sheffield Citadel, Alf Wileman has decided to retire. SCB want to celebrate the years of service that Alf has given to the Band – as well as the years he served as YP Band Leader at Sheffield Citadel, Divisional Youth Bandmaster in the South Yorkshire Division, and Band Leader at the South Yorkshire Music Schools.

On Saturday 10th September we will be presenting a festival of music to mark Alf’s 60 years. Our guest conductor for the evening will be Derick Kane who will be leading SCB in a selection of music chosen by Alf.

Tickets cost £5.00 and can be purchased by sending a cheque made payable to “The Salvation Army” along with a SAE to:

60 Years Celebration
The Salvation Army Citadel
12 Psalter Lane
S10 8YN

Former SCB Bandsmen are invited to join us earlier in the day for rehearsal and a time of fellowship with Alf.  For more details, email:

We hope you will want to join with us to recognise Alf’s service and we look forward to seeing you on the 10th September.

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