Steps of Glory
This is the first album from BMMA to feature historic recordings of the Band of the Coldstream Guards. The Band was attested in 1785 when the civilian musicians hitherto employed by the Coldstream Guards declined to perform at an aquatic excursion to Greenwich, as the concert was “incompatible with their several respectable and private engagements”. The Band has been in continuous existence since, making it one of the oldest active military bands in the world. This album presents a typical bandstand style programme: popular tunes of the day, transcriptions from the classical repertoire, selections from contemporary operas and musicals, marches and novelty items. Highlights include numbers from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, conducted by John Mackenzie Rogan, who took over as Director of Music in 1896, ushering the Band into the twentieth century; he later became the first Bandmaster to achieve commissioned rank. The title track, Steps of Glory, is a medley arranged by Aubrey Winter comprising sections from many fine marches: Gaily through the World, Always Vienna, Constellation, Second to None, To the Front, Under Freedom's Flag, The Middy, Sons of the Empire, Wait for the Waggon, The Italian Retreat, Boys of the Old Brigade and Pro Patria. Rose Marie is an operetta style musical set in the Canadian Rockies, best remembered for the “Indian Love Call”, which became a signature tune of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Our Homeland tours patriotic British music: Heart of Oak, John Peel, A Hundred Pipers, Garry Owen, The Londonderry Air and Loudly Proclaim. It was arranged and conducted by another of the Band’s Directors of Music, Major Causley Windram, killed only four years after this recording when a flying bomb struck the Guards’ Chapel in London during Sunday service on 18th June.