By Anne E. O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council
The Rockford Coronado Concert Association (RCCA) will host a powerful night of music as it presents The Band of the Royal Marines & The Pipes, Drums, and Highland Dancers of the Scots Guards on Saturday, February 6, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.
“Through music Service Bands: Sustain and develop the moral component of fighting power, support state ceremonia, achieve influence in order to further defense and national interests,” an impressive mission. Members of the Royal Marines Band are celebrated for the quality of their music, visual grandeur and precision drill. On the concert platform they enjoy a similar reputation ensuring their continuing popularity with their audiences. The band’s repertoire includes popular classics, big band, stimulating contemporary works and entertaining solo features. The Corps of Drums bring movement, color and the tradition of the ceremonial occasions integral to the Royal Marines. You must check out one of their videos on Youtube youtube.com/watch?v=y0gvpyY-Jbc to gain an understanding of their electric presence.
Royal Marines Bands were created in the late 1930s and have gone through several iterations. They were disbanded after World War II and in 1960 a band was formed at HMS Condor in Arbroath. In 1971 they were designated the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland. Since 1996 the Band has been accommodated in a Band Room at the Royal Naval Support Establishment HMS Caledonia Rosyth. Scotland Band is unique as it is the only Royal Marines Band stationed north of London.
Most members of the band play at least two instruments and are required to perform in wind band, marching band, big band, orchestral and dance band combinations. The band travels extensively throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England and recent travel abroad have included engagements in Norway, Gibraltar, Columbia and Dubai. Regular ceremonial duties include the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, beating retreat on Horse Guards Parade, ship launches, homecoming parades and remembrance services.
There is a great opportunity for young audience members you should know about, Reach for the Stars 25. The Reach for the Stars 25 is an access initiative for younger audiences in the region to attend – and in some cases – gain their first access to world-class activities at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. For each of the RCCA performances, 50 tickets will be available free-of-charge to individuals 25 years or younger. Free-of-charge performance tickets are available at the Coronado Box Office the day of the performance. Tickets are available in-person only.
Tickets range from $35-$45 and can be purchased online at coronadopac.org or by phone at 815-968-0595. Subscriptions to the remaining series (three concerts) starts at $75 and can be purchased by phone 815-489-8226. Special student and group ticket prices available by phone. Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m. the Polish Baltic Philharmonic will represent the largest music institution in northern Poland. And the final performance of the season is The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago vocalists.