RSNO version of Flower of Scotland to accompany Scottish Commonwealth Games successes
Commonwealth Games Scotland – who select, prepare and manage Scotland’s team for the Commonwealth Games – has commissioned Scotland’s national orchestra to provide recorded instrumental versions of the nation’s unofficial anthem Flower of Scotland, to be played at the Glasgow 2014 medals ceremonies in the event of Scottish success.
With the blessing and support of former Corries member Ronnie Browne, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Head of Brass and former RSNO musician John Logan spent two weeks arranging Flower of Scotland for large symphony orchestra. With John conducting the recording sessions, held at the RSNO’s current home the Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow’s West End earlier this year, the Orchestra recorded two versions of different length, both featuring pipers from the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.
Flower of Scotland was composed by The Corries’ Roy Williamson in 1965 and became one of their most popular songs, both recorded and live. It was subsequently used as the national anthem by the Scotland national rugby team, with the Scottish Football Association following suit, adopting it as its pre-game anthem in the 1990s. Following a vote by the athletes, it replaced Scotland the Brave as Team Scotland’s victory anthem for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where Scotland won nine gold medals, ten silver medals, and seven bronze, and will be used again for this year’s Games in Glasgow.
Ronnie Browne from The Corries: “It’s been a great pleasure working with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on this project and I’m delighted with John Logan’s arrangements. Perhaps now it’s right to consider, with the RSNO recording Flower of Scotland for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, final recognition of its standing as Scotland’s national anthem. It means a great deal to me and I know it would have meant a great deal to my colleague Roy.”
Conductor and composer, John Logan: “It is a very special honour to be involved. In Ronnie we have a national legend, and his endorsement and encouragement has been wonderful. I will be watching the Commonwealth Games with anticipation and it will be with heightened pride when Scotland wins a gold medal, knowing that we contributed to the specialness of the occasion.”
Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Michael Cavanagh: “We are absolutely delighted with the new arrangement and recording of Flower of Scotland by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The playing of our chosen national anthem to mark both individual and team success is such a proud moment and I know that the athletes who find themselves in this position next month will be deeply moved by this version, recorded specially for the team.
“I would like to thank Ronnie Browne for giving us his blessing to use this nationally acclaimed song as our anthem, and the RSNO for transforming it into a version befitting gold medal success.”
To accompany the announcement the RSNO and Cairn Production have produced a concise documentary charting the history of the success of Flower of Scotland, from its conception to general acceptance as Scotland’s national anthem. To view the video visit www.rsno.org.uk.
In 2006 the RSNO ran an online poll asking what the people of Scotland would prefer as their official national anthem. Flower of Scotland was the clear winner, with over 40% of the votes cast.
Later this month the RSNO will also release a new recording with Scottish singer/songwriter Dougie MacLean. On the Linn label, Till Tomorrow features some of Dougie’s most cherished songs, most of which have been orchestrated by John Logan, including another of Scotland’s alternative anthems, Caledonia.
Further Commonwealth Games cultural events featuring the RSNO include today’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Gala Concert with pianist Stephen Hough and Edinburgh Royal Choral Union at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, to celebrate the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay to Scotland; an outdoor art event featuring a soundtrack including the RSNO, by Turner Prize nominee Phil Collins entitled Tomorrow Is Always Too Long, at Glasgow’s Queens Park on Saturday 19 July; Classics Marathon Day on Saturday 26 July at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, with a RSNO and BBC SSO combined orchestra featuring soloist Nicola Benedetti; and two performances at Glasgow Green on Tuesday 29 July, details of which will be announced shortly.
The XX Commonwealth Games starts on Wednesday 23 July 2014 and runs until Sunday 3 August. For more information visit www.Glasgow2014.com and to follow the progress of Team Scotland visit www.goscotland.org.