The Christ’s Hospital Band made its 35th appearance at the Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday, November 12, reaffirming the School’s historic connections with the capital.
In spite of the pouring rain, the performance by the 120 talented young musicians was exceptional with the band’s signature piece ’Sussex by the Sea’ captured by the BBC during their live coverage of the Show.
Led by Band Captain Freddie Norris, the musicians were 105th in the running order of 140 participants.
Freddie said: “This was my fourth Lord Mayor’s Show in the CH Band and I still felt as excited as I did the first time.
“This year was very special to me as not only is it my last year in the School band, I also have the added privilege of leading it as Captain.
“I felt so honoured when I found out that I was going to be Band Captain and it fills me with pride every time we march out, whether it is a special event like the Lord Mayor’s Show or just the everyday tradition of band parade at CH.
“The band is such an integral part of CH’s routine, and I am always amazed at the levels of dedication and hard work of every member, young or old, new or experienced.
“It is this comradery that allows us to continue marching on even when we have played for an hour and the heavens have opened!”
Founded in the City in 1552 by the young King Edward VI, Christ’s Hospital School was established through the generosity of Sir Richard Dobbs, the Lord Mayor of the day, who was instrumental in forming a Committee of thirty to raise funds to educate London’s poorest children. The School moved to Horsham in 1902 and today three-quarters of its pupils receive bursaries and/or scholarships.
The band dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, some of the pupils requested instruments to enliven their marching drill.
The Treasurer of the School agreed and, with his own money, purchased a few instruments and paid the salary of the very first Band Master.
Now it is made up of over 100 young musicians, aged between 12 and 18, under the direction of Band Master Terry Whittingham (formerly Band Master of the Grenadier Guards and Queen’s Own Highlanders).
It has an impressive record of engagements and also accompanies the daily march into Dining Hall at lunchtime – known as ‘Band Parade’, a unique and spectacular tradition at Christ’s Hospital.
Footage of the Lord Mayor’s Show can be viewed on BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b082sb28/the-lord-mayors-show-2016
Contributed by Christ’s Hospital
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