I was contacted by conductor and friend Desmond Graham who wanted to have a traditional concert march composed to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of his band; The Third Carrickfergus Band.
Immediately my mind started wandering as I thought about all the great marches that I have enjoyed playing and listening to over the years. So when I put pen to paper I had already planned out the structure of the march and which instruments to feature.
The march itself is split into two halves, the first in a minor key the second in a major key. The opening section starting loudly in F minor features stereotypical passages one would come to recognise in a traditional concert march: a cornet solo, a melodic bridging section and a robust bass solo led by the basses and trombones.
The second half of the march changes pace and mood as it lifts into a major key giving it a more lighter feel. We hear a second cornet solo which plays the second theme of the march. After a second bridge section the theme is played by the front row cornets to allow the soprano to play an obligato melody similar to that heard in marches like “Army of the Nile” and “Stars and Stripes Forever”. It all builds to a grandioso ending where the tempo drops and the final theme is played with a quick accel to the end.
As for the title? In Carrickfergus lies an old castle that faces the town which is situated on a small plot of luscious green grass – “On The Castle Green”.