Perfect summer sunshine, a large and appreciative crowd of visitors from all corners of the globe, and a bandstand with the backdrop of the historic buildings provided the perfect setting for the Band’s concert at Windsor Castle at the end of June. The fantastic atmosphere which had been created by the Royal Wedding only days earlier was still evident in the town, and when we arrived we saw the Royal Standard flying from the private apartments to indicate that the Queen was in residence.
It would not of course have been the first occasion on which Her Majesty had heard the band play, since we were privileged to perform at Sandringham on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee Garden Party.
Prior to our two hour-long performances there was the opportunity to visit the magnificent State Apartments and experience the amazing collection of paintings, furniture and porcelain alongside historic armaments and memorabilia. The view from the Castle over to the Chapel and playing fields of Eton College was stunning. All in all it was truly a day to remember, and experience at first hand the images which had been broadcast across the world at the wedding.
The evening before the band gave a concert at the Musical Museum, home to a wide variety of rare mechanical musical instruments including (albeit out of sight beneath the stage) a Wurlitzer organ. The acoustic was first class, the stage spacious, and the hosts generous in inviting the band back again next year.
In short, a weekend full of a sense of occasion coupled with the usual Band fellowship. Certainly one which will be remembered and talked about for some time to come.
Ian Colman MBE