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You are in: Dorset > Faith > Band on the hill

The band climbing Gold Hill

The band climbing Gold Hill

Band on the hill

When the Salvation Army released their first ever secular album they chose to shoot the cover and video on Shaftesbury's Gold Hill. The reason? Something to do with a certain tune on a certain bread advert.

The image of a boy pushing a bicycle up Gold Hill in Shaftesbury to the sound of a brass band became one of the classic TV commercials for a generation.

Cover of "Together" with a view of the Blackmore Vale in the background.

Cover of "Together"

Now the International Band of the Salvation Army has returned to the place where the advert was made to make a video and shoot the cover for their first ever album "Together" to contain non-religious music.

The opening track is Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony, otherwise known as the "Hovis music".

Tuba player Carl Woodman explained, "I wasn't familiar with this particular hill except I'd seen it on the TV advert. The main reason for coming to Shaftesbury was to do with the record company. They thought it would be good to bring the association of the hill with brass band music up to date."

Surprising location

Shaftesbury is perhaps a surprising location for the band to shoot their cover because the town doesn't have a Salvation Army corps of its own. The residents were certainly intrigued as to why the Army chose to come to Gold Hill.

Tuba player Carl Woodman

Tuba player Carl Woodman

Carl said, "They wanted to know what we were doing, why we were doing it, who we were and when could they buy the album."

Much of the filming involved the band walking up and down the hill miming because the music was recorded in the studio. That meant the residents never got to hear any of the tracks on the CD.

The album was the first the band has produced on such a large commercial scale and represented a departure from the music they usually play.

The band members are all volunteers

The band members are all volunteers

Other tracks include, "Nessun Dorma" made famous by Pavarotti, Secret Garden's "You Raise Me Up" and "Over the Rainbow". The band's version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" also featured to create a Christmas feel.

A target of 1 million has been set for sales of the album which was released in the run up to Christmas 2008. The proceeds will go to the Salvation Army's charitable work.

It's hoped the visit by some of Britain's top brass band players will ensure that Gold Hill and the "Hovis" music will remain in people's consciousness for many years to come.

last updated: 12/12/2008 at 09:22
created: 10/12/2008

You are in: Dorset > Faith > Band on the hill

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