Around this time last year, I was approached by Tessa Cox to help her with a new song she had been writing called Diamond Days. At the time she envisaged the song being ideal to be sung by young and old alike. With this in mind we approached Grenville Jones who’s Golden Oldies charity is all about bringing people together. Tessa writes the most beautiful words to her songs and the line “Pictures of the past come back to me so fast” seemed very appropriate.
When Tessa and I met with Grenville in Summer of 2011 he got very excited by the song and said in actual fact he was looking for something which would celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the song Diamond Day was exactly what he had in mind. At the first meeting it was all very informal, I made up an accompaniment on the piano and Tessa sang to Grenville. Inspired by his interest in the song I then set about putting together a proper piano accompaniment and produced a score so the song could be more accessible and used in schools as well.
With this in place Grenville set about promoting the song to schools in the South West as part of his Jubilee Time after Time project and earlier this year 4 Part Music made a recording at Colerne of the song being sung by an entire Primary School. As time went on the song became more and more about the Diamond Jubilee and lots of schools were invited to take part and sing it as part of their celebrations.
This all culminated in Grenville and Tessa attending the Queens Garden Party in May.
As Grenville said:
“We were asked to stand apart from the hundreds of other guests and were presented to Her Majesty. 2012.
“She spoke to Tessa and myself for about 3 minutes. The Queen was very interested to hear of the progress of Goldies in such a short time and how Tessa’s song was a celebration of the 60 years of her reign.
“She was so gracious and wanted to know about our work. What a huge honour it was for Tessa and I to be given the chance to speak to the Queen.”
Following this the song was to feature on BBC Points West and I received a call from their producer asking me to create an orchestration to use alongside their recording of 3 different schools singing the song. This was quite a challenge as I only had a backing track to work from and never heard the recordings of the schools prior to it all being mixed together. I also had about 2 days at the most to produce the orchestration. Completed long distance I submitted a .wav file to the BBC of the orchestration which featured a full string section, brass, solo instruments and timpani. The BBC producer then stitched this together with their recording of the choirs singing and the end result feature as the closing item on BBC Points West on Monday 4 June 2012.