The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland with RNCM Students

Programme

Edward Gregson Festivo
Jay Capperauld Hypnic Impact
Eseld Pierce A Name Perpetual

Interval

Dan Baczkowski Nah I’m With My Boys
Modest Mussorgsky arr Binney Pictures at an Exhibition

Capt Thomas Griffin director
Elizabeth Vergara Gallego, Afonso Teles, Yi Wei conductors
Rob Buckland saxophone

This concert will include an interval and will end at approximately 9.30pm.

The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland

As one of the five bands that make up the musical wing of the Royal Navy, RM Band Scotland plays a crucial role in boosting troop morale, supporting international diplomacy and paying tribute to their fallen comrades. The master musicians of RM Band Scotland are highly skilled in at least two instruments – and often many more. Together, these versatile and talented musicians undertake a wide variety of ceremonial commitments across Scotland and the North of England. Just some of the band’s recent engagements include the launch of the new Daring-class destroyers and the commissioning of the submarine HMS Astute.

Although there have been Royal Marines Bands in Scotland since the late 1930’s they were classed as ‘ship bands’ and after the Second World War were disbanded. In 1960 a Band was formed at HMS Condor in Arbroath. However, the Royal Marines Band Service was rearranged and the sole remaining band in Scotland, based at HMS Cochrane, Rosyth, was designated the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland in 1971. In 1994 again due to the reorganisation of the Band Service, the Band’s title was changed to The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland. Since 1996 the Band has been accommodated at the Royal Naval Support Establishment MOD Caledonia Rosyth. Scotland Band is unique as it is the only Royal Marines Band stationed north of London.

In their distinguishing white helmets, Royal Marines Bands are celebrated for the quality of their music, visual grandeur and precision drill. On the concert platform they enjoy a similar reputation ensuring their continuing popularity with their audiences. The Band’s repertoire includes popular classics, Big Band, stimulating contemporary works and entertaining solo features. The Corps of Drums bring movement, colour and the tradition of the ceremonial occasions integral to the Royal Marines. Most members of the Band play at least two instruments and are required to perform in wind band, marching band, big band, orchestral and dance band combinations. They also provide jazz, string and woodwind ensembles, making the Royal Marines musician one of the most versatile and adept in military music.

The Band travels extensively throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England and recent travel abroad have included engagements in Norway, Gibraltar, Columbia and Dubai. Regular ceremonial duties include the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, beating retreat on Horseguards Parade, ship launches, Homecoming parades and remembrance services. The Band also performs numerous concerts through the year in support of both service and non-service charities; including Seafarers UK, the Royal Marines Charitable Trust, the Rotary Club and the Royal British Legion.

As with all Royal Marines Bands, the men and women of RM Band Scotland also perform a vital secondary role supporting the Fleet during active operations, with a number of personnel having seen service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Edward Gregson - Festivo

Festivo for Symphonic Wind Band was commissioned in 1985 for the 10th Anniversary of the Bolton Youth Concert Band with funds provided by the Trustee Savings Bank. It received its first performance from the Bolton Youth Concert Band, conducted by Nigel Taylor, at the Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles in Kortrijk, Belgium, in July 1985

As the title suggests, it is a festive piece, exuberant in style and cast in rondo form. An introduction announces, in fragmented form, some of the melodic and rhythmic ideas. The main theme, which is light-hearted and exuberant, is then announced on clarinets but is immediately tossed around the band. The first episode is lyrical in mood with a variation of earlier material passed from one wind soloist to another, whilst the second episode starts quietly but gradually adds layer upon layer of repeated ostinato, rather in the manner of ‘minimalist’ technique, until the whole band eventually joins in (important parts for melodic percussion here).

The final statement of the rondo tune is heralded by bell-like chords on the brass with tubular bells adding colour. This leads to a short but triumphant coda (with melodic percussion again prominent). Throughout there is much emphasis on changing time patterns and asymmetric rhythms with the scoring utilising solo and chamber-like textures.

Festivo has become a standard repertoire piece in many countries and is one of the composer’s most popular and most frequently performed works.

Note on edwardgregson.com.

Jay Capperauld - Hypnic Impact

This piece was premiered at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Plug Festival 2012 by Jay Capperauld & the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Wind Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov.

Note from www.jaycapperauld.com.

Eseld Pierce - A Name Perpetual

A Name Perpetual (Hanow a bes vynytha) was commissioned for the Cornwall Youth Wind Orchestra by Keskerdh Kernow, an organisation formed to promote the Cornish culture and to commemorate the Cornish Rebellion of 1497, when the people of Cornwall rose up against the Monarchy. Under the leadership of Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamanck, a Cornish host, sometimes estimated to number as many as 15,000, marched to London in protest against excessive taxation. Arriving at Blackheath, they were attacked by the King’s army and defeated, and the two rebel leaders were hung, drawn and quartered. On his way to his death, An Gof stated that he would have ‘a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal’.

A Name Perpetual tells the story of the Rebellion in four connected scenes. The music includes strong elements of the Celtic music tradition, being structured around an old Cornish folk tune. The first scene introduces fragments of the folk theme and reflects the anguish of the Cornish people. The second scene opens with the folk theme on solo piccolo and, as different instruments enter one by one, the march is depicted with its accumulation of forces en route. The march halts suddenly as the Cornishmen discover the unexpected arrival of the English army and the subsequent music portrays the Blackheath Skirmish. In this scene the orchestra is divided into four parts, each working independently to create a sense of chaos, with the stronger elements of the brass and bass instruments representing the English, while the woodwind and saxophones represent the Cornish, struggling to sustain the folk tune throughout the battle.

Eventually all the parts come together and the final section is a lament for the lost Cornishmen, fading away to leave only a haunting off-stage trumpet solo.

Note by windbandmusic.co.uk.

Dan Baczkowski - Nah I’m With My Boys

Initially inspired by a meme Youtube video of the same name, this piece is a commentary on the phenomenon of gang or mob mentality. The use of familiar dance rhythms evokes a club vibe; however, an insidious undertone also slowly creeps into the harmony throughout the piece. As the sound grows more and more chaotic, the audience is invited to question: how do we know when things have gone too far?

Note by Dan Baczkowski.

Modest Mussorgsky arr Binney - Pictures at an Exhibition

Mussorgsky composed his epic piano work Pictures at an Exhibition after a feverish bout of creativity in June 1874. It was written as a memorial to his close friend the artist and architect Viktor Hartmann who died prematurely in the August of 1873 aged only 39. Early in 1874, Mussorgsky visited a retrospective exhibition of Hartmann’s sketches, stage designs and architectural studies. He was deeply moved and quickly reacted with the inspired idea of writing a suite of piano pieces describing ten of the canvases interspersed with a promenade portraying the composer himself strolling through the exhibition. The result was a series of brilliant, programmatic miniatures connected by a poetic interlude (heavily reminiscent of Russian folk song) which develops into a magical presence of its own and finally a mammoth edifice of ceremonial grandeur in the last movement of the work.

It is no surprise that these stunning musical images have intrigued and stimulated many eminent composers and conductors to orchestrate and present Mussorgsky’s work through the multi-faceted pallet of the orchestra and wind orchestra. Amongst the most famous are versions by Maurice Ravel, Sir Henry Wood, Leopold Stokowski and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

The current transcription was completed in 2017 and first performed by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines (Royal Band) Portsmouth, UK.

Note by Maecenas Music.