Gibraltar and Irish musicians rehearse for ‘Unconquered’ charity concert
Rehearsals are ongoing this week for a charity concert with performances by opera singer Wynne Evans, the Band and Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and the Band of the Irish Guards.
The concert, called Unconquered, will celebrate the RG’s 80th Anniversary and will raise funds for Pathway Through Pain as well as the benevolent funds of the RG and the Irish Guards.
Billed as ‘showcasing the very best in military music and song’, the title of the concert ‘Unconquered’ was inspired by the RG’s motto Nulli Expugnabilis Hosti.
“It is testament to our history which saw us thrown into the midst of war only months after our creation: From 1939 to 1945 we defended Gibraltar against bombing and stood ready to repel attack by sea,” said a statement from British Forces Gibraltar.
“Gibraltar can look back with pride on the history of its Regiment, and we can look forward in the certainty that our soldiers today share in the commitment of our forebears to remain ever Unconquered,” it added.
Singer Mr Evans, who is performing free of charge, is known in popular culture as Gio Compario in the long-running GoCompare advertising campaigns.
Born in South West Wales and singing for 25 years, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio in London. His debut album ‘A Song in My Heart’ went straight to Number 1 in the classical charts. He has amassed various honours and awards and is at present currently starring in his own BBC One TV series, ‘Wynne At the Deep End’.
“We are so very grateful to Wynne for this and for making the evening, I’m sure, a memorable and moving experience,” said a statement from organisers.
The Band and Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment consists of musicians and drummers, with the exception of the Bandmaster, that are from the Regiment’s reserve.
The Corps of Drums has been part of the Regiment for over 40 years. However, it was the departure of the resident UK battalion in 1991 that prompted the formation of the band.
“The Band and Drums has developed considerably into an ensemble that serves not only the Regiment but the whole of Gibraltar. The Band and Drums work closely together and perform as a combined unit during the Queen’s Birthday Parade and the Ceremony of the Keys,” said that statement.
Bandmaster for the Band and Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment is WO1 Richard Burton.
He joined the Army in 1998 completing his military training at the Army Training Regiment, Winchester, and musical training at The Royal Military School of Music before joining the Band of the Welsh Guards in 2000.
He has taken part in many major State ceremonial events including the State funeral of the Queen Mother and the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
WO1 Burton was selected for the Bandmaster Course held at the Royal Military School of Music commencing in 2011 and graduated in 2013. The following year he was appointed as Bandmaster of The Band of the King’s Division and in April 2015 he was assigned as Bandmaster to the Band of the Welsh Guards. Two year later, he was assigned to the Band and Drums of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
The Band of the Irish Guards was formed in April 1900 to commemorate the bravery of the many Irish regiments, which fought in the South African campaigns.
Based at Wellington Barracks, London, the band provides musical support for all major state ceremonial events, including the 2012 London Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee.
Most recently, they provided musical support for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Pic by Eyleen Gomez