Norman Bearcroft is regarded as one of the most prolific composers in The Salvation Army and he continued to write music up until his passing in June 2020.
Southall Citadel Corps, where the Bearcroft’s were once the Corps Officers (pastors), produced many famous Salvation Army musicians, poets and composers, including Norman Bearcroft. This is where Norman’s love for composing began.
As a young man Norman joined the British military and became a member of The Life Guards, the regiment that guards the Royal family, where he joined the band as a French Horn player and later became a State Trumpeter for King George VI and served in Germany during WW II.
Norman left his military service to become a Salvation Army officer, serving with his then wife Jill for ten years as corps officers. In 1960, Norman was appointed as the National Bandmaster for the British Territory where he directed over 30 territorial music schools in the United Kingdom and around the world.
In 1968 he transferred to the Canadian Territory where he served as Music Secretary. Soon after arrival in Canada, Norman commenced work on the formation of The Canadian Staff Band and the inauguration was in January 1969. He also started Territorial Music Camps at Jacksons Point and Festivals at the Roy Thompson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto.
In 1976 he was appointed as the secretary for Bands and Songsters in Britain, where his responsibilities included arranging all of the festivals held in the Royal Albert Hall in London. He was also appointed as the music director for the 1978 and 1990 International Congresses.
In 1980 General Arnold Brown asked Norman to form and be the leader of The International Staff Songsters, their inauguration being in March 1980.
In December 2002, Norman married Kathleen at The Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple in New York City.
Norman is widely known throughout the Salvation Army world and beyond as a conductor and composer of band and vocal music.
Norman passed away on 26 June 2020, and is buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York in
The Salvation Army section.
We are delighted Norman's family have made some of his music available to BrookWright for publication.