Kneller Hall – A Final Farewell

If you follow our ‘News’ feed here you will know that we spent four days in June with the Royal Corps of Army Music at Kneller Hall in London.
We were there to record the audio in preparation for a video production to mark the end of the Corps’ association with their famous London home. Kneller Hall has been the centre of British Army music since 1857 and over the years thousands of musicians from all over the world have studied there.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s Kneller Hall ‘Summer Concert Series’ could not take place and a socially distanced concert was recorded within the grounds.
The programme, ‘Kneller Hall – A Final Farewell’ will be broadcast on Monday 30th August from 3.20pm to 4.30pm.
Forces TV is available on Freeview Ch. 96, Sky Ch. 181, as well as on Virgin media and Freesat.
You can there join British Army musicians from across the Royal Corps of Army Music as we say a fond and final farewell to the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall.
We very much look forward to the show!

“Final Farewell to Kneller Hall”

We have completed our project with the Royal Corps of Army Music in supplying the finalised audio tracks for their forthcoming video production. This marks the end of their long association with Kneller Hall in London which has been the home of British Army music since 1857.

Over four days in July we recorded some twelve tracks with over one hundred musicians in a total of six different musical combinations. All the tracks were completed externally in the grounds of Kneller Hall and the video will be available later this month on the Corps’ YouTube’ channel,

Three of the tracks are available to preview here:-

You can learn more about the entire project by visiting the News section of our website.

Farewell to Kneller Hall

We spent four days last week with musicians from the Royal Corps of Army Music at Kneller Hall in London.
The Grade II listed building has been the home of Army music since 1857, originally formed by Field Marshall HRH The Duke of Cambridge, then Commander in Chief of the British Army. The School is famous with military musicians throughout the world and incidentally, there is also a fine public house outside the school gates bearing the Commander’s name! 
In January 2016 the government announced its decision to sell the site as part of the MoD’s drive for greater efficiency and alternative plans have since been made for the administration and musical training.
We were providing the sound recording facilities for the British Army’s forthcoming video presentation ‘Farewell to Kneller Hall’. This project features not only the musicians but also the impressive grounds of the building.
The musical content recorded includes the British Army Jazz Orchestra, a marching display with The Band of the Household Cavalry and a fifty-two piece Combined Wind Ensemble.
We very much look forward to the final product which will be featured on the Royal Corps of Army Music’s Youtube channel.

‘Lamplighter’ 2nd Rossendale Scout Group Band MHP 120

We have completed our latest recording project with the 2nd Rossendale Scout Group Band who are based in Bacup in Lancashire.

The original recording took place in early March of last year before all the current problems with coronavirus. However, we have undertaken some considerable post-production work which includes tracks by the Bacup born international opera singer, Sean Ruane.

Also featured in the album are two fine solo items and two specifically commissioned works. Both these works are by composer Dan Price who now lives and works in East Lancashire.

The title track, ‘Lamplighter’, a reflective piece uses as a source three poems one of which is by the first world war poet Siegfried Sassoon.

‘Flanders Fields’ was commissioned by the Band in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the Great War. It uses a chorale as the basis of the musical content. The work starts with a narration of an extract from a letter from a father to his son.  The original letter belongs to the family of a Band member.

You can hear ‘Flanders Fields here,

Learn more about the 2nd Rossendale Scout Group Band here.

You can also buy the CD at our on-line shop.

“Let’s Swing for Xmas” Berrytones Big Band Christmas recording

Within twenty eight days of returning from our visit to Germany and despite all the travel, tier 3 and social distancing issues, the Berrytones Big Band Christmas recording “Let’s Swing for Xmas” has been finalised and dispatched for manufacture.

It features seventeen ‘big band’ tracks with great vocal numbers and it will make a ‘refreshing’ Christmas present. There is also a bonus if you wait a while!

The Band is based in Bad Bentheim in south-west Germany. It is led by Andrew Berryman, the former principal trombone with the Halle Orchestra now an established conductor and educator based in Cornwall.

Copies of the CD are available to order now from the Berrytones Big Band’s website and they will be here for the Christmas holiday.

As an encouragement to consider a purchase you can listen here to a couple of the tracks.

‘Joy To The World’, composed by the American Lowell Mason, features as the opening track in the album,

‘Wonderful Dream’ is the song made famous by the Coca-Cola Christmas promotional campaign, It is sung here by the fabulous Chananja Schulz. It also happens to be my personal favourite track!


Our return to music recording

"Let's Swing for Xmas" Berrytones Big Band recording
Live session with the Berrytones Big Band

Our long-awaited Berrytones Big Band Christmas music recording has finally been made.

We have just returned from a long-overdue commitment in our recording schedule which involved some considerable logistical and operational planning.

The Berrytones Big Band was founded four years ago and is based in the beautiful town of Bad Bentheim in Lower Saxony Germany, some 20km from the border with The Netherlands.

The Band is directed by Andrew Berryman, the established conductor, trombonist and bagpiper. Andy now lives in Cornwall but continues to work with orchestras and musical ensembles in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

This first recording by the Berrytones features Christmas music and will be launched at their annual ‘Let’s Swing for X-Mas Concert’. It features a selection of classic big band arrangements including a number of outstanding vocal numbers with Chananja Schulz and Stefan Paßerschroer. This is certainly a CD to look forward to!

In these somewhat troubling times, the recording took place within a well organised and secure environment at the Performing Arts Theatre in the nearby town of Schüttorf

Many thanks to Stephan Jansen for his organisational skills, to Andy Berryman, all the musicians for their contribution and to Neil Frost for the use of his photographs.


Lancashire Fusiliers family history

Lancashire Fusiliers regimental badge
Regimental Badge of the Lancashire Fusiliers

During these somewhat strange times where the business has been ‘less than muted’, I have been actively engaged in researching my father’s army service during WW2.

Seth Farrington (born 2nd August 1915 died 24th April 1970), Army Number 3458346 enlisted at Rochdale aged 24 on the July 1st 1940 joining the Lancashire Fusiliers and following initial training he served with the 11th Battalion.

Like many others, he very rarely spoke about his service life and these recollections were invariably his musical exploits with the Regimental Band, not entirely dissimilar to the many ‘Band Tours’ I and so many of my friends have experienced. Of course, this research has shown that his service life was nothing like that.

On the 11th July 1941, the 11th Battalion sailed for an unknown destination, firstly to Gibraltar where they transferred to the Cruiser HMS Edinburgh to be taken to Malta. They docked in Valetta some two weeks later and took their place in defending the island until the 21st May 1944 when the Battalion disembarked at Naples to begin fighting the Germans in Italy. From there they went on to Palestine.

Dad was a competent trombonist and I always, wrongly, thought that he joined the army as a musician. I have now recovered from the loft two musical instruments, his Hawkes and Son ‘The Empire” trombone and a Boosey & Hawkes “Aeroform” Regent Bb/A trumpet. This was given to me as a youngster by a family friend and former army colleague I always knew as ‘Uncle Frank’ Buckley.

Both instruments have now been beautifully restored by a colleague, Keith Preston, whose father, coincidentally, also served in the same battalion as dad at that time. These were purchased from a music shop in Valetta Malta, now closed, when the 11th Battalion was posted there and are stamped ‘P Carabott Sole Agent Malta’. From the serial numbers, they were second hand when purchased.

The band photographs were found on display by my brother when he visited the National War Museum in Valetta some years ago and both show dad and ‘Uncle Frank’ with the instruments.

The photograph of the instruments with the damaged trombone case recalls one of dad’s much-repeated stories when he claimed they were pushing a handcart bearing all the instruments across the airfield near Birkirkara. They were forced to abandon them as three Stuka dive bombers attacked the landing strip and when they returned for the instruments his precious trombone was embedded in the handcart wheel!

The research continues and many thanks to Geoff Pycroft, Researcher and Archivist for the Lancashire Fusiliers web site, Sgt Dick Tracey at the Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Lt Col David Barringer MBE, Principal Director of Music at the British Army, Keith Preston for his work and Catherine and Phyl for the photographs.

Any contributions, advice or corrections are welcome and should you read this far, many thanks for your interest.

Finally, a belated happy ‘Fathers Day’ and ‘Armed Forces Day’ dad, albeit I think of you far more often. Please have a listen here to the Regimental Quick March of the Lancashire Fusiliers. 

You can view all the relevant photographs by visiting our Facebook page.

Seth Farrington

‘Reverence’ Rebecca Nelson and the Band of the Welsh Guards

We have had a number of enquiries recently about the progress of our recording earlier this year with the Band of the Welsh Guards

We spent four days in London in April with the Band and Rebecca Nelson, the New Zealand soprano, laying down tracks for her album ‘Reverence’. Rebecca returned home to put the vocals on these tracks and the CD has just been released in New Zealand.

As a snippet, you can see and hear the final product in the track ‘World in Union’. Rebecca is joined here by the New Zealand operatic baritone, Moses Mackay and the The Manukau Police Choir.

All proceeds from the sales of the CD will be donated to charity, Te Kiwi Māia – The Courageous Kiwi Charitable Trust in New Zealand and Help for Heroes in the United Kingdom.

The CD will be available here in June of next year.

‘Fraternity’ Woodfalls Band MHP719

We have completed the work on our latest project, ‘Fraternity’, the CD we recently recorded in Hampshire with the Woodfalls Band. It is now at the factory awaiting production and is due for release early next month and certainly in time for Christmas!

In addition to six fine solo contributions there is music by Peter Graham, Jonny Bates and the wonderful Salvation Army march ‘Goldcrest’.  

The highlight of the recording is the CD’s title track, Thierry Deleruyelle’s commemorative music used for the 2016 European Brass Band Championships. The piece marks the anniversary of the Courrières mining disaster which occurred in Northern France in 1906 claiming the lives of over 1000 miners.

You can learn more about the band and purchase CDs by visiting their website here or by following them on Facebook.

You can also listen to the final section of the ‘Fraternity Prayer’ here:-

‘Fraternity’ Woodfalls Band MHP719

brass band CD recording of the Woodfalls Band at the Lighthouse Theatre Mountbattan School Romsey, October 2019

We have returned from three days recording in Romsey in Hampshire working with the Championship Section Woodfalls Band.

Recorded at the Lighthouse Theatre at the Mountbatten School, the CD project is based around Thierry Deleruyelle’s magnificent descriptive composition, ‘Fraternity. The music was written specifically for the European Brass Association Championships in 2016.

This work commemorates the 110th anniversary of the mining disaster of Courrières in northern France where  a coaldust explosion – the cause of which is not known with certainty – devastated the coal mine on the 10th of March 1906 causing the death of some 1,099 workers.

Amongst other titles included in the project are six fine solo contributions together with works by Peter Graham and Jonny Bates.

The CD will be available in time for Christmas and you can read all about the Band’s activities on their website and Facebook pages.