Music from Storied Military Bands Featured at Center for the Arts

Posted: December 10, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Pipes, Drums and Dancers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards take the stage at Mason’s Center for the Arts on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 and 7 p.m. for programs of pomp and pageantry.

Audiences will thrill to the rousing marches, inspiring anthems, ceremonial fanfares and classical medleys as these illustrious regiments proudly share their heritage in a colorful, awe-inspiring and moving performance.

A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to each performance on the center’s Grand Tier III.

With a military lineage that dates back to the 17th century, both of these regiments stir the soul with their medleys of sea songs, evocative bagpipe renditions and ceremonial marches, including an exciting tribute to American composer John Philip Sousa.

The Coldstream Guards is the oldest regiment in the British Army on regular active duty and one of the oldest regiments in the world. The group dates back to 1650, when George Monck, a general in Oliver Cromwell’s army, founded it. While a “Band of Music” was created early on in the regiment’s existence, the Band of the Coldstream Guards officially formed in May 1785.

More than 100 years later, the Coldstream became the first band to visit North America when it traveled to Canada in 1903. Over the course of its history, the Coldstream Guards have performed state, court and ceremonial duties as well as private engagements, while also doubling as medical assistants for the regiment.

Now under the musical direction of Major Graham Jones, the band has experienced an intense period of international touring in the past 10 years, visiting battalions stationed abroad and performing to both private and commercial audiences.

Scotland’s only cavalry regiment, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards was formed in 1971 by the union of the Third Carabiniers and the Royal Scots Greys, with a history dating back to 1678. The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards originated as a small pipe band.

Famous for their horsemanship and military efficiency as well as their musical talent, the band members are soldiers in Scotland’s cavalry working on crews of tanks in addition to playing their instruments. The tank crew gained international renown for their chart-topping recording of “Amazing Grace” in the 1970s.

In November, the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards released “Spirit of the Glen” (produced by Jon Cohen on the Universal Music label), an album of traditional Scottish songs and classical numbers that have inspired soldiers for centuries.

Tickets are $48, $40 and $24. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit tickets.com.

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