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Published in Band News on 2016-11-02 by Empty Chairs

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Throughout the years brass bands have played the National Anthem countless times, but few have had the privilege of performing it directly in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen herself. This honour befell the St Dennis Band, conducted by Darren Hawken, at Poundbury in Dorset on Thursday 27th October.

The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, as well as HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and the Duchess of Cornwall, were in Poundbury for the Queen to unveil a statue of The Queen Mother in Queen Mother Square, at the heart of the new Town, the brainchild of HRH Prince Charles.

The St Dennis Band played throughout the day at the express Invitation of Prince Charles, by virtue of the fact they are the current holders of The Royal Trophy, awarded to them at The West of England Bandsmen’s Festival in June this year. This unique Trophy, presented to the Festival in 1913, by the then Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, is awarded to the Winning Band in the Championship Section each year. Prince Charles has taken a close interest in the Festival, with its Royal connection, becoming Patron of the Festival in 2014.    

The Band played on a specially erected Band Stand, proudly exhibiting The Royal Trophy, adjacent to the Royal Dias, outside the new Duchess of Cornwall Public House, officially opened by Prince Charles later in the day.  

As current National Champions of Great Britain in the First Section of The National Brass Band Championships, as well as Royal Trophy holders, the St Dennis Band performed a selection of attractive music for a total of over 4 hours, entertaining the invited Guests, and the many thousands members of the public assembled for the occasion, with their Musical Director, Darren Hawken, summing up the proceedings by simply saying, “it was a lovely day”.

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