High Flight

High Flight

Track List

Fanfare to the Royal Air Force Davies
Shining Sword Wiffin
Coastal Command Suite Vaughan Williams arr Hingley
a) Hudson's Take Off
b) U-Boat Alert
Skywatch Davies
(Royal Observer Corps March)
Royal Squadron March McDonald
(No32 (The Royal) Squadron)
Search And Rescue Force Wiffin
Centurion (RAF Regiment Slow March)Banks
The Last Lincolnshire Poacher Stubbs
Oranges and Lemons & St. Clements Prelude arr Hingley/Wiffin
Ad Astra arr Hingley
Elegy On The RAF March Past arr Hingley
(High Flight read by Jnr Tech Scott Patterson)
Nimrod Elgar
Jerusalem Parry arr Daye/Baker
(Vocalist Jnr Tech Nicola McCallum)
Evening Hymn & Sunset arr Wiffin
Here's a Health unto Her Majesty arr Wiffin
Britannic Salute Ame/Elgar arr Shillito
The Royal Air Force March Past Dyson/Davies

The College March A E Simms

Programme Notes


FANFARE TO THE ROYAL AIR FORCE Composed by the late Wg Cdr Roy Davies. This most dynamic and striking ‘fanfare’ premiered as the opening item in the 1973 Royal Tournament at Earls Court, London.

SHINING SWORD An original composition by Wg Cdr Rob Wiffin. Composed in tribute to the heroism of the men of wartime Bomber Command on the occasion of its 60th Anniversary in February 2002.

COASTAL COMMAND SUITE Written by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) for a dramatised documentary film made by the Crown Film Unit in 1942. The two movements from the suite featured here are the evocative and intense Hudson’s Take Off and U-Boat Alert, arranged for wind band by Wg Cdr Barrie Hingley.

SKYWATCH Is the official march of the Royal Observer Corps, by Wg Cdr Roy Davies.

ROYAL SQUADRON MARCH Composed by WO Trevor McDonald, our own Bandmaster, this jaunty march is dedicated to No 32 Squadron (The ‘Royal’ Squadron) and was adopted as the official march of the Squadron in 1997.

SEARCH AND RESCUE FORCE Written by Wg Cdr Rob Wiffin this original march, incorporating the J B Dykes hymn tune ‘Melita’, better known as ‘Eternal Father Strong To Save’, is dedicated to the audacious courage of the Search and Rescue Services of both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

CENTURION Sister of the better known official quick march to the Royal Air Force Regiment ‘Holyrood’, Centurion is a slow march composed in 1972 by Wg Cdr Eric Banks during his tenure as Director of Music of the Band of the RAF Regiment.

THE LAST LINCOLNSHIRE POACHER A very whimsical adaptation of this original 18th Century folk tune. A delightful, deft ditty it was arranged by a former Director of Music of the Band of the Royal Air Force College, Sqn Ldr Duncan Stubbs.

ORANGES AND LEMONS & ST CLEMENTS PRELUDE Encapsulates the talent of two of RAF Music Services’ most prolific composers and arrangers, Wing Commanders Hingley and Wiffin. Extemporising on this old English nursery rhyme and its rather catchy tune ‘Oranges & Lemons’, it is in tribute to St Clement Danes, the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.

AD ASTRA Composed by Wg Cdr Barrie Hingley as the centrepiece of the Royal Air Force Bands’ participation in the 1989 Royal Tournament. The title, drawn from the motto of the Royal Air Force, ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’ dates from before the birth of the Service itself, the generally accepted translation being “Through Adversity to the Stars”.

ELEGY ON THE ROYAL AIR FORCE MARCH PAST A sublime lament on the Service’s Official March exquisitely arranged by Wg Cdr Barrie Hingley accompanies a reading of Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee’s ethereal poem ‘High Flight’, recited by Jnr Tech Scott Patterson.

NIMROD Sir Edward Elgar’s emotive and poignant dedication to his great friend A J Jaeger is the Ninth Variation from his Variations On An Original Theme (Enigma) Op36, first performed in 1899, arranged by Wg Cdr Barrie Hingley.

JERUSALEM A hauntingly sensitive treatment of this uniquely English Charles Parry theme, based on a William Blake poem of 1804. Adopted by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in 1918 it has become synonymous with that movement and the conclusion to the annual Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall featuring the voice of Jnr Tech Nicola McCallum.

EVENING HYMN & SUNSET An aesthetic adaptation by Wg Cdr Rob Wiffin of the traditional hymn tune which forms the focal point and conclusion to the familiar military twilight ceremony of Beat the Retreat.

HERE’S A HEALTH UNTO HER MAJESTY Written as a ‘Glee’ for 3 voices and a eulogy to Charles II it was first published in 1667 referring of course to ‘His Majesty’. This triumphal arrangement by Wg Cdr Rob Wiffin formed part of the celebrations marking the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

BRITANNIC SALUTE Combines two of the nation’s most familiar and patriotic anthems, Thomas Arne’s 1740 ‘Rule Britannia’ and Elgar’s irrepressible ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’ from his Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 of 1901.

ROYAL AIR FORCE MARCH PAST Composed in 1919 following the formation of the Royal Air Force the year before, Dr Walford Davies composed this march during his very short tenure as Organising Director of Music to the Royal Air Force. His successor, George Dyson, later added the familiar and melodic ‘trio’ section.

ROYAL AIR FORCE COLLEGE MARCH The official march of the Royal Air Force College composed by the legendary former Organising Director of Music to the Royal Air Force, Wg Cdr Albert Earnest Sims. Known affectionately as ‘George’, he presided over a golden era for Royal Air Force Music when it had no less than 10 bands!

Programme notes by Sgt Stephen Humphrey