Household Cavalry R W

The Band of the Household Cavalry and the Morrison Orpheus Choir gave a magnificent concert in Ely Cathedral in aid of the Household Cavalry Foundation on Friday the 8th December 2017.

 Household Cavalry RW


The band was resplendent in its dark blue or red uniforms contrasting well with the white suits of the male voice choir while the stage was a mass of light and colour, with the Cathedral Christmas tree on the side and a fascinating laser display above.

 The programme was very varied with items ranging from serious classical origins such as Saënt-Saens Symphony no 3 and to the light-hearted such as the final ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’. The band leaders, Major Craig Hallatt and Captain James Marshall, obviously knew what they were doing and inspired wonderful sounds from their musicians.

Household Cavalry RW

The highlights for me were the more pensive, atmospheric pieces that tugged at the heart strings and brought to mind the whole reason for this charity: to help soldiers and their families suffering from the effects of battle. The euphonium solo in the ‘Benedicturs from The Armed Man a Mass for Peace’ by Karl Jenkins was especially moving and the sadness and utter desolateness of the fallen was very much in mind as the band captured the subtleties of ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ by John Williams, arranged by Paul Lavender .

However, there were also some particularly powerful moments, especially the opening ‘Rejoicing’ by the trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the ‘Crown Imperial’ by William Walton arranged by W J Duthoit. In ‘Crown Imperial’, patriotic feelings were unashamedly aroused with the power of this splendid band filing the cathedral.

Household Cavalry R W

Under the baton of Joy Amman Davies, the male voice choir had some most moving gentle moments in ‘Winter Wonderland’ . When they sang ‘Ding, Dong Merrily on High’ we heard just how buoyant potent and versatile the singers can be. little can beat the exquisite sound of such a good male voice choir singing in beautifully gelled harmony. Organist James Banville demonstrated amazing talent, especially in the arrangement of Widor’s Toccata no 5.

With opportunities for the audience to join in with some of the carols, this was indeed a wonderful evening for a very worthy cause.

{module comment link}