By Royal arrangement
PhD student Daniel Bickerton has had an exciting challenge recently – arranging music for the Queen.
Daniel was asked to arrange a traditional Welsh hymn, Blaenwern, for orchestra. The Christian hymn, composed by William Penfro Rowlands (b. Pembrokeshire, 1860), was specifically requested by the Queen and will be played during her visit to a service at Christ Church, Ebbw Vale on 27 April 2012.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be visiting Ebbw Vale as part of their two-day Diamond Jubilee tour of South Wales.
Ahead of the visit, Daniel said: “The call came via Peter James at the Gwent Music Support Service. He was asked initially by the Lord Lieutenant for this performance, as it’s one of the Queen’s favourite hymns, and he came to me with the project.
“It was quite short notice but it’s a very exciting opportunity for me. I haven’t had a chance to attend any of the rehearsals so I’ll be hearing it performed for the first time at the same time as the Queen.
“The church service is by invitation only so I’m lucky to be attending. It should be a really memorable day.”
As well as invited guests at the church, the service will be broadcast live to another 150 guests in marquees in the church grounds and to the crowds on the streets outside.
Listen online to a Good Evening Wales interview with Daniel about the arrangement at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0079gdh (26.04.2012, interview starts c.14:35).
Daniel is studying for his PhD in Composition under the supervision of Dr Arlene Sierra. He has written in a range of genres and has had works performed in the UK, USA, Italy, and on radio and television.