Ray Steadman-Allen is one of the most foremost composers of the Salvation Army. He has over 400 pieces published and has been a most inventive and creative composer since his first composition was published in 1945. Having officer parents meant Ray grew up in the Salvation Army. He himself became an officer in 1950 and subsequently held many positions within the SA culminating in 1967 when he was appointed as the Head of Music Editorial where he was responsible for selecting and editing all music to be published by the SA. His versatility means he can compose music for all occasions and for all instrumental combinations; from Championship section test pieces to a straight forward setting of a children's song.
The march Southdown represents music of a simpler nature from this great composer and was composed originally for a music school in Bolney Court. Bolney Court, near Brighton, is close to the downs in the southern county of Sussex, hence the title. It follows the traditional form of a march and will be an attractive addition to the repertoire of most types of wind-band.