Royal Grammar School


World class soloist brings new music to his old school

World class soloist brings new music to his old school

World renowned saxophonist John Harle returns to his old school as he brings his 60th anniversary tour, a Celebration of the Saxophone, to the Miller Theatre on Wednesday 22nd March.

The Ivor-Novello award winner who has composed the theme tune and six series of music for popular drama, Silent Witness, will be accompanied by Steve Lodder on piano for the evening, performing short pieces by composer’s Carl Davis and Michael Nyman who were asked to write these to celebrate John’s 60th birthday.

The evening of musical entertainment will see the worlds of classical, jazz, rock and new music represented as well as the premiere of new work written by retiring Headmaster, Dr. Bernard Trafford.

Speaking of his return to RGS, John said,

“I'm delighted to be returning to my alma mater in aid of the RGS Bursary Scheme. Steve and I will be performing a number of new pieces that have just been written for us including a new work by current headmaster, Bernard Trafford.

“It will be a delight to share all this new music with friends old and new and I look forward to seeing how RGS has grown over the years."

There is a special angle to this particular concert as John is generously donating the profits  to the school’s Bursaries Campaign, which provides the funding for children from low-income homes to take advantage of what RGS has to offer. 

15 years ago John last came to the RGS to give a concert in aid of the Campaign which was then newly launched. On that occasion he was accompanied by a leading British composer, the late Richard Rodney Bennett. 

Ioannes Triumphans by Bernard Trafford is also set to be launched at the concert. It is a set of fun variations on the old RGS school song 'Fortiter Defendit'. 

Commenting on his new work, Headmaster Bernard Trafford said:

“The piece is slightly tongue-in-cheek, with some musical nods to John’s time in the school: it is also as virtuosic as anything else he’s likely to tackle in the concert, so we’ll see him at full stretch!”

Tickets for Celebration of the Saxophone can be purchased online through Eventbrite. All profits from the event will go to the RGS Bursaries Campaign.