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Royal Marines’ top musician performs lead role at Queen’s Birthday party

Royal Marines’ top musician performs lead role at Queen’s Birthday party
5 May 2016
The head of the Royal Marines Band Service will play a lead role in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Party at Windsor Castle – sharing the stage with the likes of Kylie Minogue and Gary Barlow.

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace will conduct an orchestra of 65 musicians from all three services at the party which runs for four nights from May 12 in the castle grounds.

The 51-year-old from Waterlooville will lead the ensemble as it provides the show’s musical links and backing music for an array of famous singers.

As well as Kylie and Gary Barlow, the list includes Alfie Boe, Beverley Knight and Katherine Jenkins.

It is a tremendous privilege and honour to be conducting this fabulous orchestra in celebration of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace

Lt Col Grace said he was looking forward to working with such famous names. “This will be an amazing event for everyone involved and demonstrates the quality and versatility of musicians in the Royal Marines, RAF and Army.

“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 90-minute event 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 include 900 horses and more than 1,500 participants from around the world, telling the story of the Queen’s life and 60-year reign.

The ensemble under the direction of Lt Col Grace is formed predominantly with musicians from 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.

May is set to be a busy month for Lt Col Grace, whose 34-year career includes serving as a musician in the Royal Yacht Britannia.

On May 31 he will be the musical lead for the nation’s Battle of Jutland centenary commemorations in Orkney.

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