by: Brian Harris
Named in honor of Gustav Holst's birthtown in Central England, Cheltenham March is a straight-ahead folk tune sounding march. You will, no doubt, hear the Holst-like sound.
It begins with a majestic fanfare and moves into a jaunty, sword-fighting, lance-crossing melody. Before that melody returns a second time, there is a short and light dance-type interlude. Then, after the key change at the Trio, comes a broad, flowing melody - in true English style. The piece then returns to the beginning for one more hearing of the knightly melody.
Astute listeners will recognize that this march is patterned on a truncated form of the first movement of Holst's beloved Second Suite in F.