Ballad to the Royal Mile

Germany premieres love song to Scotland's Capital

German winds
German winds premiered the song at Greyfriars Kirk

A new piece of music inspired by the beauty and history of the Royal Mile has been premiered in the Capital. Written for the Edinburgh Concert Band as a gift from German Winds, the musical ode to Edinburgh's Old Town was presented to the Lord Provost by the German Consul General during a concert at Greyfriars Kirk on Saturday night (5 October).

Titled 'Royal Mile', the song was composed by Sven Hellinghausen, under the pseudonym Kane McKean, and performed for the first time by German and Scottish instrumentalists, celebrating the long ties enjoyed between Edinburgh and Germany.

German Winds is an orchestra led by conductor Sven M. Hellinghausen whose focus is to establish music networks across Europe. In 2017, Hellinghausen dedicated a Mass to Pope Francis as a birthday present for his 80th birthday, with German Winds performing the piece in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Commenting, Lord Provost Frank Ross said: "Edinburgh has long enjoyed a close relationship with Germany thanks to our 65 year twinning with Munich and our 3,500 residents with German heritage. These ties result in unique friendships and collaborations, not least this new piece of music demonstrated by German and Scottish bands for the first time. My sincere thanks, on behalf of the city, for this very skilled and special gift!"

The Edinburgh Concert Band (ECB), led by Sarah Cunningham, was founded in 1988 with the aim of providing an opportunity for community musicians, school leavers and the student population to come together to make music. Today, ECB is a true community band with over 60 members aged 18 upwards and from all walks of life, performing and enjoying a wide range of music across the concert band repertoire. 

Musical Director Sarah Cunningham of Edinburgh Concert Band said: “Edinburgh Concert Band were delighted to collaborate with their new friends from German Winds. We were especially honoured to be gifted a brand new composition for the occasion and we hope that the audience enjoyed the concert as much as we did.”

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