Paul Johnson is a musician in the Band of the Irish Guards based at Wellington Barracks in central London. The Irish Guards band is one of the five foot guards’ bands that make up the Household Division. Welcome to what is now the 3rd blog of 2012, and still going strong! If you haven’t already done so, please follow us at: http://www.facebook.com/BandoftheIrishGuards and on Twitter: @IrishGuardsBand, for more information on what we are getting up to!
The Household Division chamber orchestra were busy in their preparations for the annual Easter Choral Concert. Led by the Senior Director of Music Lt. Col. Stephen Barnwell, the orchestra enjoyed a fantastic concert, with the Irish Guards fanfare team and the Guards Chapel Choir. Pieces included; “Easter Hymn”, and “Let the Bright Seraphim”. The fanfare team gave a rousing opening to many of the congregational hymns.
Every year HM The Queen takes up official residence in Windsor Castle for a month known as ‘Easter Court’ at which the Band had the privilege of changing the guard. A full Windsor guard for the Band is always an interesting affair; for those who have been there will note that there are some rather steep hills leading up to the castle gates which the Band has the precarious fun of tackling these hills in studded boots, whilst playing! It is always amusing to hear the band let out a sigh of relief as they reach the top.
Pass out parade
The Band recently provided a musical enjoyment to the ‘Passing out Parade’ of newly qualified Officers before they march on to the beat of the streets of London, having completed their basic instruction at the training establishment of the Metropolitan (Met) Police, Hendon College.
The Band played a selection of music including the traditional Irish tune of “Londonderry Air”, and the popular: “New York, New York”. The band always enjoys this gig, as they get a chance to entertain the crowds with a marching display of their own.
On the Parade, as they march past the inspecting officer, it is always fascinating watching the Police try their hand at ‘drill’. There is always someone who misses a halt and a lot of “Tick-Tocking” (Marching with the Left foot and left arm forward at the same time!).
A national day of remembrance
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance, to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now commemorates all those who are still serving and have died in current military operations. This year the Irish Guards fanfare team had the privilege of performing at this event in Westminster Abbey, with HRH The Duke of Gloucester in attendance.
Fourth and fifth come second and first
The Band participated in an Inter-Foot Guards band, 5-a-side football competition. With the scoring action of Jonathan “Torres” Spencer, and the strong duo of the Duffield Brothers, The Band played very well, beating both the strong Coldstream, and Grenadier Guards bands, placing the team in second only to our sister band the Welsh Guards. Well Done the Micks!