As Associate Composer to the Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards, Nigel is to compose a new work that is designed to be performed at solemn occasions and will be ready for performance this Autumn (2010). Many of Nigel’s works have been performed by the band, but as Associate Composer he wrote `Fields of Remembrance’ in 2008 in support the Colonel’s Fund, Grenadier Guards. The Colonel’s Fund was created at the end of 2007 to help the families of those killed and wounded in action by promptly responding to problems of bereavement and hardship and to supplement existing charitable funds.
The Band of the Grenadier Guards is the oldest band in the British Army. In 1656 King Charles II raised a Regiment from his loyal exiles at Brugge, Belgium. Originally called the “Royal Regiment of Guards”, the name was changed in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, to the First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards. The first mention of music in the Regiment is a Royal Warrant issued by King Charles II in 1685 (the year of the birth of both Handel and Bach) authorising the maintenance of 12 Hautbois (the fore-runner of the oboe). In 1783 the band consisted of only 8 musicians: 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons; Over time the band has extended its instrumental variety and now comprises of the standard instrumentation that makes up today’s concert band. The Band’s current musical director is Major Kevin Roberts.