The Kneller Hall Trumpeters
The Trumpeters of The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, were one of our great national institutions from 1937 until a few years ago. The great State occasions, Coronations, royal concerts, Tattoos, even the state opening of Dickens and Jones at Richmond would have been incomplete without stirring fanfares from the Kneller Hall Trumpeters.
The museum now includes a display case on the Trumpeters, for many years the public face of the School.
The trumpets were designed by Lieutenant Colonel Hector Adkins, the Director of Music at Kneller Hall from 1921 to 1943, the first major event at which they were used was the Coronation of King George VI in Westminster Abbey in 1937.
They replaced the earlier ‘Bach’ or ‘Aida’ trumpets which were difficult to hold with a banner attached, particularly in a strong wind. To complement them, valved trombones (sometimes referred to as tenor trumpets and bass trumpets) were designed to fit the same basic size and shape as the trumpets, so that they could be used alongside and be visually compatible.
The distinctive banners were designed by Mr. Kruger Gray, a man better known for the design of some of our coinage including the florin and half-crown. The banners depict the crown of the Royal Military School of Music and the clarion (or organ stops) which are allusive to the musical training at the school.