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Grenadier Guards Band

The Band

The Band of the Grenadier Guards, formed during the Reign of King Charles II, has a vast and illustrious history dating back over 300 years. During The Restoration the foundations of The Band of the Grenadier Guards were set, when King Charles II commissioned twelve ‘hautbois’ (oboe) players to the First Regiment of Foot Guards in 1685. 

Following the Battle at Waterloo, The First Regiment of Foot Guards became known as The Regiment of The Grenadier Guards. The death of King Charles II, in 1685, was so significant for The Regiment that, from then until the Second World War, the Bass Drummer of The Band (officially known as The Regimental Timebeater), would wear a black armband in Mourning of death of King Charles II.

Since its formation, The Band of the Grenadier Guards has served 16 Monarchs over 338 years, with dedication and pride. It has been present at all major royal occasions and performed at key historic events. The Band raised morale during the darkest hours of the Second World War and in 2023, its uplifting music ushered in a new beginning at The Coronation of King Charles III.

The “British Grenadiers March” is one of the most recognisable and memorable tunes in the world, part of Britain’s Musical Heritage. One of the band’s admirers in the 18th century was the composer George Frideric Handel, who presented his March from Scipio to The Regiment, when it was first performed in 1726, before he then included it in his opera of the same name. 

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RCAM 30 Legacy Recordings

A Commonwealth Salute – Craig Hallatt

A Commonwealth Salute was composed to mark the occasion of King Charles III becoming Head of The Commonwealth, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who had been Head of The Commonwealth for 70 years (1952 – 2022)

It was composed in 2023 and premiered at The Commonwealth Day Celebration on Horse Guards Parade in March of that year.

The music is Celebratory in style and opens with resplendent fanfares which signify the dawn of a new era for The Commonwealth. The middle section of the piece portrays a stately procession of Nations as they celebrate The Commonwealth.  

First and Finest – Denis Burton MBE

The Band lamented the recent passing of Major Denis Burton MBE; an ex-Director of Music (DOM) and dear friend of the Grenadier family. Major Burton wrote a number of original compositions and arrangements during his time as DOM, many of which are still performed regularly as part of State Ceremonial activity. As a tribute, the Band were proud to use his march ‘First & Finest’ as its entry march onto Horse Guards Parade for HM King Charles III’s first Birthday Parade in June 2023.

Yeoman of the Guard (Overture) – Sir Arthur Sullivan MVO arr. Duthoit

The Yeoman of the Guard was created in 1485 to act as personal guards to King Henry VII. Now, as then, their sense of duty and commitment to The Monarch is absolute and draws parallels with the roles of the Foot Guards Regiments of the Household Division. Arthur Sullivan’s engaging and evocative score is considered amongst his finest compositions and forms part of a long and fruitful operatic collaboration with William Gilbert. This Overture has been at the core of the Grenadier Guards Band’s repertoire for many decades.

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