Christ’s Hospital Band marches at Lord Mayor’s ShowNovember 21, 2019
Christ’s Hospital School Band made its 38th appearance at the Lord Mayor’s Show in London on Saturday, November 9, reaffirming the School’s historic connections with the City of London.
The musicians were 111th in the running order of 143 participants. They played their signature piece and School march, ‘Sussex by the Sea’ while marching past the Cenotaph. Three pupils also took part in the procession organised by the City of London to represent its Family of Schools.
The performance by the 100-odd talented young musicians was broadcast by the BBC as part of their live coverage of the show, while the accompanying lively commentary included many interesting facts about the Band.
For Band Captain Murray, a Year 13 pupil, this was his fourth year marching in the Lord Mayor’s Show. “My parents have been marching in bands at the Lord Mayor’s for many years; between the three of us we notch up 70 years!” he explains. “In fact, it was when my mum spoke to the Christ’s Hospital Band at the Lord Mayor’s Show in the 80s that she decided she would like any future children she had to go to CH!”
The Band first attended the Lord Mayor’s Show in 1981 and so impressed the Lord Mayor that it has been invited to participate every year since! Four former CH pupils have to date been Lord Mayor of London, the most recent being Sir Richard Nichols in 1997.
Founded in the City in 1552 by the young King Edward VI, Christ’s Hospital School was established through the generosity of Sir Richard Dobbs, the Lord Mayor of the day, who was instrumental in forming a Committee of thirty to raise funds to educate London’s poorest children. The School moved to Horsham in 1902 and today three-quarters of its pupils receive bursaries and/or scholarships.
The Band dates back to the mid-nineteenth century when some of the pupils requested instruments to enliven their marching drill. The Treasurer of the School agreed and, with his own money, purchased a few instruments and paid the salary of the very first Band Master. Now it is made up of over 100 young musicians, aged between 12 and 18, under the direction of Band Master Terry Whittingham (formerly Band Master of the Grenadier Guards and Queen’s Own Highlanders). It has an impressive record of engagements and also accompanies the daily march into Dining Hall at lunchtime – known as ‘Band Parade’, a unique and spectacular tradition at Christ’s Hospital.