Over two days (Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 August 2023), His Majesty The King’s Guard Band of Norway performed four free concerts in the iconic St Giles’ Cathedral. Nestled in the heart of the Edinburgh’s Old Town, St Giles’ Cathedral hosted the historic Honours of Scotland ceremony for His Majesty King Charles III earlier this year. The Cathedral’s gothic interior and stained glass windows set a striking backdrop for The King’s Guard Band’s performance.
The Band played a range of traditional music including Figaro’s Wedding Overture by Mozart, Te Deum by Charpentier and Amazing Grace by William Himes. Most notable of the songs performed, was Valdres March. Composed by Johannes Hanssen in the early 1900s, Hanssen had great influence on the development of Norwegian military music and, in 2018, Valdres March became Norway’s national march. Interestingly, the song itself is not used for marching, however has become a integral part of Norwegian Military music culture.
The popular song is a staple in The King’s Guard Band’s repertoire and is often used to end their music concerts. The piece held particular poignancy to those performing at St Giles’ as it marked the last time the group would perform this traditional piece of music together. Following their last ceremonial duty at this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Show, Stories, the conscripts will finish their National Service and return to study or work.
The emotional performance left both musicians and support staff moved as it signified a close in this chapter of the bands time together.
His Majesty The King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway are proving to be fan favourites at our Show this month, their performance has it all, military precision drill, traditional military music, plus a surprise nod to 1980’s Norwegian pop band, A-ha!
Although there is limited availability remaining for our final performances, you can still secure tickets to see His Majesty The King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway live by visiting our website here.