Following its first performance of 'A Nottingham Festival', the work commissioned by Nottingham Concert Band to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, the band has announced another debut.
As part of Autumn Winds in the church of St Mary the Virgin in Bunny on Saturday (22 October), Music Director Robert Parker will lead Nottingham Concert Band through the premiere of a new version of Elgar's 'So Many True Princesses Who Have Gone' for wind band. Otherwise known as 'Queen Alexandra's Memorial Ode', the work has been recreated by Elgar Society member John Morrison some 80 years after the original manuscript went missing, and Saturday evening will see its first public performance.
In May 1932, Sir Edward Elgar - then aged 75 and Master of the King's Music - was given less than a month to compose a musical setting for the poem So Many True Princesses Who Have Gone. The verses were written by the Poet Laureate, John Masefield, as a tribute to the late Queen Alexandra and the piece was needed for the unveiling of Sir Alfred Gilbert's Queen Alexandra Memorial at Marlborough House on 8 June 1932.
Elgar originally set the poem to an orchestral accompaniment. However, the last-minute replacement of the orchestra by a military band led to a hasty re-arrangement for wind band and choir, with a be-robed Elgar conducting the chorister children of the Chapels Royal, the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Band of the Welsh Guards in the first performance.
'Both the orchestral and band scores have since been lost,' explains John Morrison. 'My arrangements for wind band and for band with chorus are based on the vocal score in Elgar's own hand, which lies in the library of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.'
In addition to 'Queen Alexandra's Memorial Ode' and 'A Nottingham Festival' - which was composed for the band by Philip Sparke supported by funding from Flint Bishop Solicitors - the programme for Autumn Winds includes a selection of light classics, lively show-time medleys and spirited examples of contemporary wind band music. Tickets (?8, or ?4 for under 16s) include a glass of wine or soft drink at the interval and can be reserved by contacting Kate Hunt on 0115 984 7090.
Nottingham Concert Band rehearses weekly in West Bridgford and performs for community and charitable causes throughout the year all over the East Midlands. Enquiries about membership are welcome and should be directed to Jeff Fry (01949 860126), via:
or through the band's website at