£;' ; ITtt)M, par and neaiv ; . . ; [By Tomtom.] £•'.. Students at the Royal Military School of '• '•".'• Music (Kneller Hall) have every inducement to distinguish themselves. Amongst .their numerous studies composition is a , .leading one. During January, Sergeant ■w^jErans, of the Coldstream Guards, won the «oveted gold-mounted baton given by Colonel Shaw-Hellier, the , commandant, for the best composition by a' student. ■ Sergeant Gruar, of the First Dragoon - Guards, secured second honours. The ■ competition for these prices is expeedingly keen, and many of the compositions are - excellent and prove that the school is r thorough in this important branch of musical knowledge. : The: important work, done at. the school gives much satisfaction in England, and m from an exchange I read : — " The benefit W~- arising from the splendid training given to f the students is incalculable, and the vacant places are filled by those whose conduct and abilities justify the maintenance of the school by the British Government." The British Musician writes in glowing terms of the band. An ex-Christchurch bandsman, now reBidingin London, in his last letter tells me .that to hear the Kneller Hall Band (one hundred and twenty strong) play is alone worth a trip Home. His account of the church music by the students is such that one longs to be a listener. ' •' The West Coast band contest, fixed for May 10 and 11, will eclipse last year's in every respect. The test selection is " Gems 'of Modern Melodies,!" by Bound ; the first •prize, .£25 and Begg and Co.'s handsome ibaton for band-master, second prize .£lo los and baton presented by Messrs Milner and •Thompson, of this city, third prize .£7 10s. The prizes are exceedingly liberal, all .things considered. A marching contest will >Ibe held at Victoria Park, on the afterjnoori of May 11, and given fine weather ,the proceedings should materially .assist the committee. The solo competitions for soprano and B 'flat cornets; tenor ihorns, baritones, euphoniums, slide, tromjbones, also E and B flat basses. " : Miss iSeabrook, who last year gave such satisfaction as accompanist, will again fill that rule. The rules of the contest seem sufficiently comprehensive, and, after the • experience 'gained last year, our .'West Coast friends iare bound to have a good time. The 'honorary secretary is Mr H. F. Doogan, .and it being fair to judge the future by his past work, that important position is excellently filled. The judge has not yet been appointed. . From the "Concord and Discord" column of Wright and Bound's Journal I take the following concerning the bands of the Guards:— The only Guards' band i-whichhaa ever been allowed to leave the ;United Kingdom is that of the Grenadiers. ;3n the summer of 18*72, some of the leading 'cifcizens-of Boston, United States, organised iafete which they christened " The World's •Peace JFnbilee International Musical Fesitival." With a name of such dimensions it was necessary to provide an entertain,ment to match. A building covering five acres was erected. A chorus consisting of twenty thousand singers was engaged. To this was added an orchestra of a thousand members, an organ blown by steam-power, a few batteries of artillery, ,and various other musical (?) accessories. The Grenadiers have been offered engage.'ments so far away as Melbourne and so near as Brussels. Berlin also has repeatedly invited them. The musical Germans, not" content with admiration, are of late year 3 copying the organisation of our bands. Formerly a German military band was, to « use a technical t6rm, mainly composed of brass, the number of wood instruments being restricted to four or five 'clarionets; of late a very much larger proportion of wood has been introduced. The 'Guards' bands are as well known and, if possible, meet with even a warmer welcome in the principal towns of the United Kingdom than in London. Among notable engagements of the Grenadiers, I call to mind the coming of age " of the Marquis of Bute at Cardiff ; the visit-of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Dublin ; the Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow Exhibitions ; and visits to Perth, Stirling, Dundee, and Aberdeen. I must almost mention, a remarkably successful visit of the Coldstream Band, conducted by the late Mr Fred Godfrey, to Dublin, where they played at the brilliant .ball given by the Freemasons of Ireland to thereto Duke of Abercorri. As space is '.jimited, I must be content with giving a '"■' very few more details. For instance, it is •not generally known that when a guard oi with its band salutes a member of the Boyal Family, the first six bars of "God iSave the Queen " alone are played. In saluting the Queen, the National Anthem js played in full.
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