CAMUS 25 Gala Concert

The Bands of the Coldstream Guards, Royal Artillery and Royal Armoured Corps
Conductors: Major Craig Hallatt, Lt Col Darren Wolfendale, Lt Col Cliff Ross, Lt Col Kevin Roberts
Kneller Hall
Saturday 20th July

'Argenteus' by Major Craig Hallatt won a competition to mark the Corps of Army Music's 25th Anniversary. 

Written for fanfare trumpets and band it was conducted by the composer to open this CAMUS 25 concert, followed by 'Light Cavalry' and music from 'The Greatest Showman' - tuneful enough, but lacking a little something without lyrics or visuals.

The two top-placed entrants in the recent Household Division Solo Competition were featured; with a fine rendition of 'Carmen Fantasia' from flautist Sgt Rachel Smith and the winner, saxophonist L/Cpl Stephen Shepherd, displaying his talents in full with John Williams' 'Catch me if you Can'.

The cinematic 'Resplendent Glory' juxtaposed brass fanfares with swirling woodwinds before Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery brought the house down with `The Wind Beneath my Wings'.

Musical highlight

'Hougoumont' was commissioned from Peter Meechan when Lt Col Darren Wolfendale was Director of Music of The Coldstream Guards.

He conducted the band, complete with narrator, in what was the musical highlight of the evening, depicting the heroic defence of the farmhouse, with a closing elegy for the dead of both sides.

'Never Shall Memory Fade' was played as wreaths were laid to commemorate those killed and injured in the bombings at Hyde Park, Regents Park and Deal before the band continued with a selection from 'West Side Story', conducted by the first director of CAMUS, Lt Col Cliff Ross.

He conducted the band, complete with narrator, in what was the musical highlight of the evening, depicting the heroic defence of the farmhouse, with a closing elegy for the dead of both sides.


The current Principal Director of Music (Army), Lt Col Kevin Roberts MBE, took over the baton for the remaining items, commencing with the finale from the Saint-Saens 'Organ Symphony'. It was an impressive reading, although the accompanying fireworks were a touch lacklustre. 

The current Colonel of the Corps of Army Music, Col Victoria Reid, gave a speech thanking those who had taken part and outlining the achievements of CAMUS during its first 25 years, although it was a pity there was no recognition of military music before its formation.

Captain Beth Waters, complete with union flag attached to her mess jacket, joined the band to sing 'Rule Britannia' in 'Sea Songs' followed by 'Land of Hope and Glory'.

The concert, which attracted an audience of around 4,000 listeners in the grounds of Kneller Hall ended with 'Music Makers' and the 'National Anthem'.

Peter Bale

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