Stoke & Staffordshire

RAF fanfare to mark moment of royal marriage

The eight-piece band practicing at RAF Northolt
Image caption The band will not play the piece in public until the day of the wedding on 29 April

A newly-composed piece of music will be used as a fanfare at the royal wedding once the couple are married.

Trumpeters from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force (RAF) will herald the moment Prince William and Kate Middleton sign the register at Westminster Abbey on 29 April.

The piece, called Valiant and Brave, has been composed by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs, from Stoke-on-Trent.

He said he drew musical inspiration from the RAF.

Mr Stubbs, RAF Music Services principal director of music, will be directing the eight-piece band on the day.

'Career highlight'

He said: "The nice thing about a fanfare is that it is prescript in many ways, it does serve a purpose, it is a functional piece of music.

"Part of it alludes to the RAF corps so that forms a basis of some of the material.

"Basically I have taken examples of fanfares that we know and recognise and just added my own thoughts and ideas into that."

The band held a practice session at RAF Northolt in Middlesex on Tuesday.

The title of the piece is the same as the motto used by RAF 22 Squadron of which Prince William is serving as a search and rescue pilot in North Wales.

One of the seven trumpeters said playing inside the abbey at the wedding would be a "highlight" of his career.

Senior Aircraftman Jonathan Pippen, 31, from Pontypool, South Wales, said his wife, who is another RAF trumpeter, will be performing outside along the processional route.

"I think as a member of RAF it is an honour to be involved with the royal wedding but in my career it is something I will talk about for years," he said.

"When I'm an old man I'll be able to say I was there and be proud of it."

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