Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be presented with the Honours of Scotland during a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Giles' Cathedral on Wednesday 5 July. In 1953 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended a similar event at St Giles' during her first visit to Scotland following her coronation. The event follows the King's coronation held on May 6 in Westminster Abbey in London and will feature centuries old aspects of Scottish royal tradition.
New works for the occasion have been composed by Paul Mealor (Novello). They are the fanfare Balmoral Flourishes, the march The Call of Lochnagar and a setting of Psalm 23, Còmhnaicheam An Àros Dhè (And I shall dwell in God’s house).
As the service starts with the Royal Procession, Balmoral Flourishes will be played by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry. Mealor says, “Balmoral Flourishes is a short burst of light and will herald the entrance of The King and Queen at St Giles’. It is the first time that a Scotch Snap has featured in a Royal fanfare.”
“My short psalm setting in Gaelic, And I shall dwell in God's house, for the wonderful Joy Dunlop to perform in solo voice will be the first time that the Gaelic language has featured in a service like this. It is melodic, gentle, a call from the mountains and lochs of Scotland for all of us to dwell together in peace in God's house.”
The Call of Lochnagar will be performed by The Trumpeters and Trombones of HM’s RAF Music, the Honours of Scotland Ensemble and the organist Jordan English, conducted by Michael Harris at the end of the service. “The new March, The Call of Lochnagar, involves nearly all of the musicians performing at the service and is a lively, uplifting conclusion to the afternoon's activities and will be performed as Their Majesties leave the cathedral", says Mealor. "Not only does it blend traditional Scottish music - in tunes of my own - with fanfare passages; but it also builds and builds to a dramatic conclusion, much like a walk up to Dark Lochnagar itself.”
Included in the music before the service is the choral work Drop down, ye Heavens, from above by Master of The King's Music Judith Weir (Chester Music) which will be sung by The Choir of St Giles' Cathedral. Photography for string orchestra by Errollyn Wallen (Edition Peters) will be played by The Honours of Scotland Ensemble.
In addition, John Frederick Hudson has created an arrangement of All in the April Evening (Novello) for performance by The Honours of Scotland Ensemble and Karen Cargill, mezzo-soprano.
The event will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from 12:40 BST and televised on BBC One from 13:30 BST.
View the Order of Service here.
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