The culmination of this year’s Festival was this concert given by past members conducted by three former Directors of Music.
Lt Col Kimberley led the Grenadier Guards Band from 1977-1987, and insisted on taking part despite recent medical treatment. He was joined by Major Keeling and Major Chatburn of the Blues & Royals and Irish Guards respectively, with the repertoire typical of programmes enjoyed by listeners in London’s Royal Parks or Embankment Gardens: week-long engagements, two concerts a day for seven days, and with no piece appearing twice.
Following the 'National Anthem' and his own march 'Man of Brass', Major Kimberley led the band through the overture 'Orpheus in the Underworld', complete with the ubiquitous 'Can-Can'.
John Park, ex Irish Guards and Scots Guards, can be heard leading the sing-along at the end of each day at Royal Ascot and his take on 'Ol' Man River' went down very well.
'Jupiter' from 'The Planets' was perhaps a little adventurous, given the limited rehearsal time, but it was still a creditable performance. More relaxed fayre followed with Eric Coates' 'On the Edge of the Lake' and 'Hoagy Carmichael in Concert'.
The somewhat rumbustious 'Padstow Lifeboat' was followed by a dignified performance of 'Crown Imperial', whilst it was good to hear the tasteful appreciation of the music of Tchaikovsky, and the 'Waltz from Swan Lake' followed by the perennial ‘bandstand favourite’ of 'Post Horn Galop', with competing soloists.
The second soloist was former Band Sergeant Major Michael Dabbs, ex Grenadier Guards, and one of their longest serving players, who delighted the audience with 'Misty'.
The somewhat rumbustious 'Padstow Lifeboat' was followed by a dignified performance of 'Crown Imperial', whilst it was good to hear the tasteful appreciation of the music of Tchaikovsky, and the 'Waltz from Swan Lake' followed by the perennial ‘bandstand favourite’ of 'Post Horn Galop' with competing soloists.
'The Irish Washerwoman' was a good test for dexterity before Lt Col Wolfendale took up the baton for the 'Finale' from Tchaikovsky's 'Fourth Symphony'.
Taken at a cracking pace, it brought an enjoyable concert to a rousing finish before an appreciative audience outside the Guards Chapel, not to mention the large numbers who followed it via a worldwide internet feed.
The bands played themselves out with 'When the Guards are on Parade'.