The world-famous Grenadier Guards joined young musicians from schools across North Yorkshire for a spectacular concert to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Children and families cheered and waved flags as the military band – recognisable for their scarlet tunics and bearskin hats - made a grand entrance at Harrogate Convention Centre on Friday evening (17 June), playing the traditional British Grenadiers marching song.
The concert at Harrogate Convention Centre was organised by our School Music Service and also featured about 350 children and young people from schools in the county.
One of the Grenadier Guards who took part, George Hirst, is a former North Yorkshire school pupil who was a member of some of the music service’s ensembles. The trumpet player was a former member of Selby Music Centre, the County Youth Big Band and County Youth Orchestra from the age of 12.
The Band of the Grenadier Guards have a history which dates back more than 300 years and played a key role in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Parade in London earlier this month. They are taking part in celebratory concerts across the country this year and North Yorkshire’s School Music Service was lucky enough to have a request for the band to join the concert accepted.
The head of our Music Service, Ian Bangay, said the event was a “huge success, adding; “The children really entered into the spirit of the event, waving their flags and cheering as the band of the Grenadier Guards marched in. They sang well and the musicians from the music centres performed superbly.
“The Guards were fantastic, interacting with our children throughout the day. They were happy to talk about their roles and even let the children try on their bearskins and have pictures taken with them. It was a great end to an enormous amount of work put in by music service staff and the teachers at the schools taking part.
“We are hoping to continue our relationship with the Guards and are looking in to taking the County Youth Big Band down to London to rehearse with them and watch changing of the guard.”
The evening featured performances from children and young people performing with North Yorkshire County Schools’ Big Band, the Junior and Primary Schools Choirs and Wind Band, Richmond Chamber Choir and the County Youth Choir. They played a selection of popular music from each decade of the Queen’s reign.
The Band of the Grenadier Guards performed Crown Imperial, music from West Side Story, Symphony by Clean Bandit and rounding off the evening with Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar and the National Anthem.