The BBC North West ‘Tonight’ television Christmas programme broadcast has focused on the first Christmas of the Great War — 100 years ago this year, and as a major feature, the ‘Pals March’ was performed by the East Lancashire Concert Band.
In 1914, as the then Accrington Old Band, they led the newly recruited ‘Accrington Pals’ round the town and played as the Mayor took the salute in front of the Town Hall.
This music was originally composed in 1914 by Ralph Sanders for piano, and in February this year it was arranged for wind band by Nick Holme, principal trumpet with the current band.
Around the world
As their contribution towards to the WW1 Centenary Commemorations, the music has been made available free of charge to amateur ensembles and theatrical groups throughout the world – resulting in performances as far afield as Australia.
As part of the live half-hour programme (above), which was broadcast live from St. John the Evangelist Church, the spiritual home of the Accrington Pals, a number of Christmas carols were also performed.