01494 725525

News

Halstan Join The Celebration

July 2013

Halstan Join The Celebration

On the 4th June, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was joined by 2000 guests for a service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her Coronation. The acclaimed composer Bob Chilcott, described by the Observer as ‘a contemporary hero of British Choral Music' was commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster to write an anthem to be performed at the service. The piece entitled ‘The King Shall Rejoice' was adapted from Psalm 21 and was made possible through the generous donations of former choristers who sang at her Coronation in 1953.

Halstan was commissioned by Oxford University Press to produce a presentation book of Bob Chilcott's handwritten manuscript. It was hand bound in high quality binding cloth with gold blocking and presented to Her Majesty in the Abbey by Bob immediately after the service. This was a proud moment for Bob and we were delighted to have played a small part.

Halstan Join The Celebration

This follows a long Halstan tradition of producing printed music for The Queen and other Royal occasions. 60 years ago for her Coronation in 1953, Halstan printed two specially commissioned works composed by William Walton: Te Deum (performed again at this service 60 years later) and March: Orb and Sceptre.

The Coronation saw musical compositions from two Masters of The Queen's Music. Sir Arnold Bax (Master from 1942-53) had the honour of composing the Coronation March for The Queen, whilst Sir Arthur Bliss (Master from1953-75) wrote a Processional for the Coronation. The current Master is Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Trivia: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is the first Master not to be appointed for life. He was appointed in 2004 for a ten-year period and is due to leave the post in 2014.

Christopher Smith