A big part of planning a wedding is the music. Are you getting a band or a DJ? Or both, Mr. Moneybags? Is it a Spotify playlist situation? If you're Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's just a wee bit more than that. For the wedding ceremony, it's all pomp and circumstance with choirs and soloists from some of the most esteemed musical institutions in the United Kingdom, including royal wedding trumpet player David Blackadder, who is an expert on old, formal traditions.
The royal wedding, as Anne Midgette writes in the Washington Post, is the "biggest classic music event of the year, watched live by millions of people around the world.” Blackadder will fit right in with the traditions of the wedding ceremony, because he's an old, old, old school musician. In fact, he is the principal trumpet player for the Academy of Ancient Music, whose bio of Blackadder says that he started playing the trumpet when he was just nine years old, and that his grandfather was also a trumpet player and bandmaster.
The institution, based in Cambridge, focuses on playing period music with instruments in the style of the time period of the piece. Blackadder is a Baroque trumpeter, which means that he plays music from the Baroque era with a trumpet as it was made in the Baroque era, without valves. According to his Academy of Ancient Music bio, Blackadder played with the Scottish Opera and was the principal trumpeter for English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. He’s now the principal trumpet player at the Academy of Ancient music, making him the perfect choice to toot his own horn at the royal wedding.
He doesn’t just play trumpet, though, he also teaches it, probably a bit better than your middle school band teacher. In 1993 he founded Blackadder Brass, an educational ensemble in Birmingham, England, and he now teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
Blackadder, of course, will be joined by a whole host of talented musicians to provide music steeped in history for one of the biggest events of the year.
In April, Kensington Palace announced some of the selected musicians and choirs for the ceremony. Other performers on the ticket are the Kingdom Choir and the 19-year-old prodigy cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won the 2016 BBC Young Musician Award. Harry saw him perform at a charity event last year and the couple invited him to play at the royal wedding. Not a bad way to kickstart your career.
According to the royal family's official website, Kanneh-Mason said about playing the royal wedding, “I’m so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding. I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes! What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event. I can’t wait!”
So, if you love classical music, the royal wedding will definitely have something for you. Or, if you're watching and you don't know a single thing about classical music, just drink some red wine and cosplay as Dr. Frasier Crane. David Blackadder, his retro trumpet, and all the rest of the musicians will be putting on quite the show — literally fit for a Duke and Duchess.