If like us you watched with delight at the Royal Wedding on Saturday, you might have noticed some rather fabulous bits of music. I was blown away their choices, encompassing classical and modern, representing their personal approach very well.
It was great to see so much representation of BAME and female musicians, whilst using the world class choir of St. George’s Chapel to sing the classical pieces of music (side note, my old classical music history teacher from Trinity sang in that choir for over 30 years before retiring last year. I used to love visiting him at Windsor castle, where he lived and seeing all the secret bits, it’s an amazing castle!).
The bride entered to a trumpet fanfare specially written for her and it was the first female trumpeter to play for a royal wedding.
This was then followed by a gorgeous piece by Handel, called Eternal Source of Light Divine. This has a special place for the Royal family as it was first written by Handel in 1713 for Queen Anne (Handel wrote a lot of the Royals, including one of his most famous pieces of work, Music for the Royal Fireworks). Princess Diana also used a piece by Handel to walk down the aisle of her wedding day, sung by Kiri Te Kanawa back in 1981. The piece on Saturday was beautifully sung by the female Welsh soprano Elin Manahan-Thomas and let me tell you, that is a HARD piece of music to sing, not only because 2 billion people are watching you, but because of how high it is in your register. She did an absolutely brilliant job.
And possibly one of the best reactions to the music was this pageboy’s face when the trumpet fanfare started…
Entrance of the Bride – Trumpet Fanfare and Handel – Eternal Source of Light Divine
We couldn’t talk about the wedding music without mentioning The Kingdom Choir, how brilliant was the choir that performed?! Here they are in all their glory, I just loved the Musical Director, what energy and passion she has!
Stand by Me’ performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir – The Royal Wedding – BBC
Next up was the rather fabulous Sheku. I first heard of him when he won Young Musician of the Year back in 2016 (and became the first black musician to win this prestigious award). He comes from a large family, all of whom are excellent musicians and his touch and tone is a delight to listen to. In a wonderful side effect, he is currently No. 1 in the US pop charts with the first track from his album “Inspiration” and even better, it’s with his recording of Shostakovich cello concerto! Who would have thought that Shostakovich would hit the charts? What a fantastic day for classical and popular music.
Royal Wedding Sheku Kanneh Mason Virtuoso Cello
The English born composer John Rutter has long been one of my favourite composers. He writes the most subliminal church music and many carols that we sing at Christmas are by Rutter, or arranged by him. He has contributed a vast amount to choral singing in his lifetime and I’m so glad he was recognised in this way. I also recommend listening to For The Beauty Of The Earth and All Things Bright And Beautiful (some of you may have heard this as it’s a Grade 5 voice piece).
The Royal Wedding Ceremony – Westminster Abbey Choir – This is the day (by John Rutter)
Last of all, it was rumoured that Idris Elba played the decks late into the night at the after party, sounds a perfect way to end of the day!
Here is the link to all the music used in the service if you would like to listen to it all http://www.classicfm.com/events/royal-wedding/music-played-royal-wedding/