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The Band of the Coldstream Guards

Conductors: Major Simon Haw & WO1 Laura Stead
Guards Chapel
Friday 30th June

As part of a week-long festival of music marking the centenary of the five Foot Guards bands, the Band of the Coldstream Guards presented this concert of English music. 

Opening with a 'Royal Fanfare' by Sir Arthur Bliss, boldly delivered from the back of the chapel, they continued with 'Fanfare and Soliloquy'; its contrasting styles highlighting the ensemble’s colourful timbres.


LSgt Ben Hull and Sgt Helen Betteridge presented 'Saxo Rhapsody' and 'Musica Unversalis' respectively, before CSgt Darren Hardy narrated his own moving poem in Simon Haw's setting of 'Passchendale'; the poignancy of the words reflecting on the bravery of those caught up in the horrors 100 years ago.

Another anniversary was commemorated in Martin Ellerby's 'Elegy', written to honour those who died when a V1 rocket destroyed the Guards Chapel in 1944, when the Coldstream Band was on duty. Musn Hannah Hodgson, one of the youngest members of the band, was the excellent cornet soloist.

Classic frames

Two classics framed the interval: The ‘March’ from the 'Second Suite in F' (Holst) and 'The Horse Guards, Whitehall', familiar as the theme music for BBC radio's 'Down Your Way'. Sgt Rachel Smith was the accomplished soloist in Rodney Newton's Tolkien-inspired 'Song of Luthien': Introduced by WO1 Laura Stead as 'our own elf princess' Rachel's fine interpretation was matched by the accompaniment.

Robert Wiffin's arrangement of Arthur Butterworth's 'The Lads in their Hundreds' preceded LCpl Engelien Coetzer's presentation of 'The Watermill', dedicated to former oboist Tim Rampley, who had died a few days earlier.


The stylish playing on an atmospheric reading of Malcolm Arnold's 'English Dances (Set two)' was a real musical highlight. 

The familiar opening featured fine piccolo playing with the horns coming into their own later on, whilst the scoring aided by the excellent ensemble balance made use of bassoon and bass clarinet in cameo features. All sections of the band had their moment in the spotlight, and captured the varying moods of the piece well.

Simon Haw's arrangement of 'Abide With Me' incorporated 'The Last Post', before a fine evening closed with the National Anthem and the Coldstream Regimental March, 'Milanollo'.

Peter Bale

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Contest: Welsh Regional Championships

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Contest: North of England Regional Championships

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Sunday 18 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Cheshire Constabulary Band

March 17 • We are urgently looking for a Tenor Horn, Cornet and snare drummers (for our Corps of drums). Smart friendly well run band with varied engagements, just one rehearsal a week. Open to all walks of life ( you do not need to work for the Police!)

Arrow Valley Brass

March 16 • Arrow Valley Brass is developing well under Andy Culshaw and seeks to appoint an experienced front row cornet player. We are based in Inkberrow, Worcs.and our main rehearsal is on Sunday morning. Full programme of concerts, contests etc.

Garforth Brass

March 15 • Following on from their success in coming second in the 4th Section in Huddersfield, GARFORTH BRASS are now looking for a SOLO/TUTTI CORNET player to join the team in preparation for their appearance at Cheltenham in September.

Jack Capstaff

Bmus (Hons)
Conductor | Composer