A Royal Musical Celebration in the Holme Valley

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has received a unique musical birthday gift composed by former BBC Inspire Young Composers’ Competition winner, Thomas Brown. As a resident of the small Yorkshire town made famous by the Last of the Summer Wine sitcom of Holmfirth (that is when he’s not studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow), Thomas was asked by Cllr Jason Brook, on behalf of the Holme Valley Parish Council, if he would be interested in composing a piece of music to mark Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday. Yon Green Garden – Music for a Royal Celebration quotes the Holmfirth Anthem Pratty Flowers (from which the title is taken) as well as the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, rumoured to be one of Her Majesty’s favourites. In April, Thomas came together with school friend, sound engineer and University of Surrey Tonmeister student, Jamie Philokyprou, to conduct the Hade Edge Brass Band (where he began to learn the cornet 15 years ago) in a recording of the piece, which has now been delivered to the Queen. The piece was also performed on 1st May at the Parish Chairman’s (Cllr Kathleen Bellamy) Civic Luncheon, and the recording played on 14th May at the parish council’s tea party, which they threw for local 90 year olds. A spokesperson from the council commented, “It was wonderful to hear a new piece created by such a local musical talent, and its blend of modern and traditional themes seemed a very fitting tribute to the changes seen by the tea party attendees and Her Majesty over the last 90 years.” “Working with Thomas on this piece was an exciting project. The contrasting textures in the music required careful consideration, both in the production and the actual recording session. It was a pleasure to work with a fun and hospitable team, all local to the Holme Valley.” (Jamie Philokyprou) The recording of the piece can be heard here.