English brass instrument maker Smith-Watkins of York supplied the Coronation Fanfare Trumpets which were played in Westminster Abbey at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April 2011.
The Fanfare Trumpets were sounded during the ceremony when the team of players, drawn from the bands of the Royal Air Force, performed music specially composed for the occasion.
Smith-Watkins can trace their association with the British Forces back to 2000 when they received a commission from the Royal Marines and Royal Air Force to create a new range of Fanfare Trumpets using “state of the art” design techniques.
Today, these instruments are used throughout the British Forces and military bands in the United States, Middle East and Australasia.
Captain Craig Burns, Director of Music at the Royal Marines, was adamant about what made a Smith-Watkins trumpet extra special:
“Smith-Watkins’ precision engineering, coupled with Richard Smith’s understanding of the needs of the individual musicians, has led to the production of Fanfare Trumpets which produce clarity of sound, greater accuracy of note production and tuning throughout the range, and a rich musical ensemble sound.”
Smith-Watkins Coronation Fanfare Trumpets have graced high-profile engagements all over the world as well as top ceremonial occasions in the United Kingdom, including performance at Horseguards Parade, the annual Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Richard Smith of Smith-Watkins was delighted to see his Coronation Fanfare Trumpets chosen for the wedding:
“It’s always a proud moment when we see and hear our instruments played in public, and the royal wedding is set to be a major global event. We’re absolutely thrilled that our Coronation Fanfare trumpets have been selected. The RAF Band trumpeters are some of the finest in the world, and we’re looking forward immensely to hearing a rousing performance.”
Smith-Watkins have been designing and manufacturing their range of famous brass instruments for over 25 years. The company is led by the world-renowned instrument designer Richard Smith and internationally-acclaimed trumpet player Derek Watkins, with all manufacturing taking place at their converted cow shed near York.
Submitted by Andy Middleton