John Chapman joined the British Police Symphony Orchestra as 3rd Horn in 2008. In recent years John has provided arrangements and original compositions for our recordings in isolation during the lockdowns due to Covid, as well as for our performances across the UK such as the Lichfield Proms, our annual concert in Birmingham Symphony Hall and our Charity Gala Concert in The Royal Albert Hall in May 2019.
As a former bandmaster in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, John was privileged to lead the band, pipes and drums in a memorable royal performance of Highland Cathedral at Balmoral Castle in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.
To mark the BPSO being asked to perform for the unveiling of the Knife Angel in Stoke-on-Trent in April, John composed a unique fanfare. Speaking to the BPSO in rehearsals, John took us through his composition.
‘The fanfare is driving and discordant, representing the forces at play in the world of violence and aggression. Trumpets and horns are often referred to in the bible and when sounded bring a range of messages such as fear, warnings, but also victory and success. In the music, bell notes are heard such as the sounds you would expect from heaven, angels or the church, with messages from God, delivered by angels. The overlapping triplet section demonstrates the many conflicts and confusions we face in our lives as we try to make sense of our world. Bells are heard again, as a reminder that we can look upward and make this world a better place. The driving rhythm return, but the angel’s messages are clear (bell notes are sounded again) and the discord, reduced.’
The fanfare was performed by members of the British Police Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of their Musical Director, Dr Richard Jenkinson.