Throughout 2011, the Concerts in Cathedrals series is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. Over 40 cathedrals in England and Wales will host concerts, with the Central Band performing five of them.
The majestic Canterbury Cathedral provided the setting for the first of the Central Band’s concerts. ‘Liberty Fanfare’ welcomed the sell-out audience as the combined sound of brass, woodwind and percussion reverberated round the long, high nave.
The first half also included a medley of hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, the ‘Knightsbridge March’ (better known as the theme tune to the BBC radio show In Town Tonight) and a selection of tunes from the songwriters of “Tin Pan Alley”.
‘Wootton Bassett’, a march written in tribute to the Wiltshire market town’s role in military repatriations, began the second half. Soprano Margaret Threadgold, who had sung Kashif’s beautiful ‘Ave Maria’ before the interval, rejoined the Central Band on stage to begin the act of remembrance with ‘Benedictus’ from ‘The Armed Man’.
Following the act of remembrance, the standards were marched off to ‘Old Comrades’ and Cantebury Cathedral was transformed into the Royal Albert Hall for a “Last Night of the Proms” patriotic finale.
The Central Band will be playing in four more cathedrals in 2011:
- Southwark Cathedral – 27th May
- Lincoln Cathedral – 25th June
- Truro Cathedral – 24th September
- Rochester Cathedral – 1st October