Some jobs are more important than others, right?

It’s always an honour and a privilege to perform the Last Post at a funeral service and today’s, which took place in a beautiful part of the Hampshire countryside, was no exception.

A Norman Church in the Hampshire countryside

When tasked to attend these engagements, it is often the case that you are unaware of the history and background of the deceased person, until you arrive at the Church or Crematorium.

Today’s funeral was for a very interesting individual indeed! The deceased gentleman was not only for a former Brigadier, but he was also a former Commanding Officer of the South Wales Borderers (an antecedent Regiment of The Royal Welsh).

His military career saw him serve in Aden, Malaya and Hong Kong, but he also was one of the troops who landed on Gold Beach in Normandy on June 6th (D-Day) in 1944.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, add in to the mix that he was also a Knight of The Realm and this made the gentleman’s story complete.

Despite all this and regardless of who the deceased person was, their rank, status in society and type of military service, they deserve the very highest of standards when the Last Post is performed.

I very much hope that this was the case and my efforts today would have met with his approval.

RIP Sir, your duty is done.

#LastPost #bugler #funeral #Military #Army

South Wales Borderers Cap Badge

For further information about the Last Post, please contact Andrew by clicking here.

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Answering a call to action from an old soldier!

I answered a phone call yesterday which led to one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had to deal with during my career as a musician.  My emotional state however, was definitely secondary, compared to the caller, who was an elderly retired Major from the Royal Engineers.

The reason for his call was that sadly he had been given just a couple of months to live by his medical advisers and was anxious to try to sort his affairs out before his health deteriorated so much that it prevented him from being able to do so.  He was also keen to spare his Wife the pain and burden of having to make funeral arrangements, whilst trying to deal with the grief of losing her Husband.

This was the first time that I’d discussed a “funeral plan” with anyone, least of all the “deceased-to-be”, but, being an Army man, he was determined to tackle the issue head-on and ensure that if I was at all available, I would be willing and able to perform the “Last Post” at his funeral service.  Naturally, we couldn’t discuss a date, but he gave me a reasonable timeline of how long the Doctors had given him and I assured him that I would make every effort to be there, when the time came.

Despite the tragic circumstances, this gentleman was calm and measured throughout the conversation and I drew inspiration and strength from his stoic and pragmatic approach to the situation that he found himself in.  Ultimately, we all have to accept that our end will come at some point or another and if I could help and reassure this old man that I would do my best to carry out his last wishes, just as he had planned them, then I would draw on my professional experience to try to make that a reality.

Having dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s regarding the format of the service and my potential involvement, the gentleman was relieved that another element of his closing chapter had hopefully been signed off.

We ended the conversation with me wishing him a smooth passage over the coming weeks – what else can you say to a man who is dying, without sounding crass or absurd? – and a promise to do my very best to be there for his funeral and to give him a dignified send-off, worthy of an ex-Veteran.  After all, as professionals in our respective fields, what else could we hope or want to do?

This is one “call to action” that I pray won’t be happening very soon, but when it does, I very much hope that I am able to respond in the most positive way that I possibly can!

For further information about Andrew Jones, Music for You and the “Last Post”, please call 07973 869621 or e-mail andrew@andrewjonesmusic.com

 

 

Taking the plunge with an unknown quantity?

Booking a person or company that you’ve never worked with before is a real minefield, particularly when it comes to musicians for special events or occasions. Perhaps this testimonial from a recent client will reaffirm and convince you of Music for You‘s ability to deliver a quality service, when it’s most needed.

Music for Parties Celebrations

“Dear Andrew. From the first time that I rang you, until you left yesterday, you conducted yourself with so much respect, dignity and professionalism. Please never let that change. It was a pleasure to deal with you. I had every confidence that you would perform well……… I can’t thank you enough for performing, what was such an important thing to me. It was my last personal tribute to my Dad. You did an old Veteran proud.”

KR – Last Post (Salisbury).

There, convinced now? If so, please either fill in the enquiry form below, or call Andrew on 07973 869621 to discuss the musical requirements of your event. Music for You – it’s just that!

A lovely testimonial from a satisfied client

I received a lovely testimonial from a client yesterday:

“My daughter and I recently asked Andrew from Music for You to assist us by playing the Last Post at the funeral of her father. Andrew’s performance was phenomenal and was a great tribute to a proud ex- paratrooper. We received so much praise for Andrews contribution to the service, and feel he helped to make it truly memorable. Andrew is an amazingly talented and sincere person, and I would not hesitate to use the services of Music for You in the future.”

Nice to know when you get things right.

For further information about Music for You and the “Last Post” or music for any event, please call Andrew on (07973) 869621 or e-mail andrew@andrewjonesmusic.com

Spare a thought for the Bugler performing the “Last Post” on Remembrance Sunday

Last Post - 5RW Memorial

This Sunday will once again see many of us commemorating Remembrance Day at Parades and Memorial Services up and down the country.

One of the integral parts of that Service, will be the playing of the Last Post preceding the 2 minute Silence. For many, this is the most poignant part of the proceedings, bringing all sorts of emotions to the surface, from even the most robust and stiff-upper-lipped of characters, as memories of loved ones and fallen Comrades, as well as thoughts of current serving personnel in the Armed Forces are given heightened awareness.

I have been honoured and privileged to have been asked to play the Last Post at numerous Parades, Memorial Services and Funerals during the last 30+ years and since joining the Regimental Band of The Royal Welsh, have a heightened awareness of its relevance and meaning to members of the Armed Forces and civilians alike.

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For those who understand music theory and a little about brass instruments, the Last Post is merely a C Major Arpeggio (consisting of 5 different notes) usually played on either a Bugle, a Cornet or Trumpet. There are no valves (buttons) required and the music is such, that it can be performed by a player of around Grade 5/6 standard or above.

Understandably, the Last Post is something which is sorely missed if not performed, however can become the target of all kinds of criticism and at its worst, ridicule, if not played absolutely perfectly. “But it should be played, perfectly!” I instantly hear you cry.

Trust me when I say that anyone who is tasked with playing this short, simple piece of music, wants to play it to the best of their ability and get it note-perfect. The onus of representing your Village, Town, Royal British Legion Branch, local brass band, school band etc. is one which will have given many a Bugler sleepless nights this week, knowing that every note represents so much, to so many people and is the “ultimate tribute” to those who have fallen in conflicts.

Many of these Buglers however, are not professional musicians and are volunteers who are “doing their bit” for their local community. There may be instances where they have been “volunteered”, owing to nobody else being available, someone being taken ill at the last-minute, or nobody was brave enough to stand up and be counted and do it in the first place.

One hopes that the weather will be kind on Sunday, but even then, putting a freezing cold metal mouthpiece – some use plastic, but it never feels the same for the player – on lips that are tight from the cold and from hanging about waiting to play, doesn’t make for ideal preparation. Miss just one note and you can sense everyone wince and start inwardly tutting about it.

For a variety of reasons, there are less Buglers being available each and every year to perform at parades and the demand, sadly far exceeds the supply. Please be assured that your Bugler will try their damnedest to give as fitting and respectful a tribute as they can, but if it’s not quite note perfect, don’t be quick to criticize, but be thankful that you had a  Bugler there at all, to add that something special to the Memorial Service. Buglers, we salute you!

“We will remember them”.

For further details regarding the Last Post, please visit my website

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