On the Bank Holiday Monday following the Coronation of Charles the Third at Westminster Abbey, JAM Duo were at the New Inn between Swindon and Marlborough to provide music for a celebratory afternoon tea.
The New Inn dates back to the 17th Century and as it did then, it now provides a traditional setting to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in-between seeing the local sights, after a walk in the countryside or before retiring for the evening.
Setting up in the dining room area our brief was to provide 3 hours of music whilst customers enjoyed a very stylish Afternoon Tea served by their Hosts Cody and Ben who own the New Inn and Elderbrook House.
We played a range of music from both our contemporary repertoire through to Jazz and easy listening music from the early to mid part of the twentieth century which seemed to suit this type of quintessentially British occasion rather well.
Charles III, King of the United Kingdom, is a long-time supporter and patron of the arts world, with patronages at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Royal College of Music and beyond.
And it all stems, it appears, from His Majesty’s early years spent going to the ballet with the Queen Mother – and playing in the cello section of his university orchestra.
While modestly describing himself as “hopeless” at the cello, His Majesty recalled in a radio podcast diligently practising Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in his bedroom, ahead of a performance with the orchestra of Trinity College, Cambridge.
“I loved playing in the orchestra at Trinity – albeit rather badly,” he admitted. “I remember playing in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and trying to practise in my room at Cambridge to an old record conducted by Herbert von Karajan, who was the great conductor in those days, in the sixties.
“There was me sitting with my cello and my tuning fork, and I put this thing on, and of course he took it at an incredible lick – you’ve no idea how fast!”.
And so it was because of Charles III’s brief flirtation with the cello that we were invited to perform for this event which we were honoured and indeed proud to do so.
It was a lovely occasion and we were delighted to be treated to an afternoon tea of our own by Cody and Ben once we had finished playing!