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Lt Col Nick Grace – head of the Royal Marines Band Service – will conduct an orchestra of 65 musicians from all three Services at the concert, which runs for four nights from May 12 in the castle grounds. The 51-year-old from Waterlooville, Hampshire will lead the ensemble as it provides the show’s musical links and backing music for an array of famous singers including Dame Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.
“This will be an amazing event for everyone involved and demonstrates the quality and versatility of musicians in the Royal Marines, RAF and Army,” said Lt Col Grace.
“On a personal note, it is a tremendous privilege and honour to be conducting this fabulous orchestra in celebration of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.”
The show is billed as a celebration of the Queen’s life and will portray her love of horses, her dedication to the Commonwealth and international affairs and her deep involvement with the Armed Forces.
It will feature 900 horses and more than 1,500 participants from around the world – including Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, Homeland/Band of b, telling the story of the Queen’s life and 60-plus-year reign.
The ensemble under the direction of Lt Col Grace is formed predominantly from musicians of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth (The Royal Band), with additional string players from the Army’s Countess of Wessex Orchestra and the RAF Salon Orchestra.
The four 90-minute shows – each played out before a member of the Royal Family, with the Queen guest of honour on the final night – are sell-out affairs, but the event is being recorded by ITV.
Barely will the strains of the National Anthem have faded than Lt Col Grace, whose 34-year career includes serving as a musician in the Royal Yacht Britannia, will be making for Horse Guards Parade where he will be conducting the Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines on the evenings on25 and 26 May at Beating Retreat. With over 250 musicians on parade this will be a truly spectacular event. Tickets available from this website.