A musical tribute to HM The Queen Elizabeth II to mark 70 years of her reign.

Performed in the Grand Ring at the Royal Norfolk Show on Wednesday 29th June and Thursday 30th June 2022.

A remarkable achievement deserved a special tribute from Her Majesty’s favourite county. We were privileged to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s seventy years on the throne with a Big Sing, incorporating music from Kenya - where she learned of her accession - Germany - from where her forbears came - and the Commonwealth, to which she gave unending dedication. ”

Peter Wilson MBE, Deputy Lieutenant. Organiser of The Royal Salute

The music performed was chosen to remind the audience of Queen Elizabeth’s long reign, its European and international significance, and to give everyone watching a chance to show their appreciation of Her Majesty’s dignity, steadfastness and integrity over an unprecedentedly long epoch in our island history.

The performance began with the Jubilee Samba Band.

Then onto KWA HERI, sung by the African Choir of Norfolk. KWA HERI is a Swahili song from Kenya, where the young Princess Elizabeth learned of her father’s death and her accession.

A LIFE FILLED WITH GRACE is a newly composed Song for the Commonwealth, of which Her Majesty has been Head for many decades. The audience was invited to join in the chorus:

Verse 1
When the world has turned to darkness
And there’s troubled seas ahead
There’s a light that leads the ship back home to shore.

A life lived with grace
A heart filled with love
Peace on earth and harmony in the heavens above.

Verse 2
When the day is slowly breaking
And the dawn can’t find its way
There’s a sun that shines upon the world heralding a brand-new day.


Verse 3
When the night has come a-calling
And the daylight starts to fade
There’s a reason why the world rejoices
singing all as one today.


The joint choirs, accompanied by the Norfolk County Ensemble, then sang Handel’s ZADOK THE PRIEST, composed for George I.
Following a specially commissioned fanfare (by young Norfolk composer Christopher Brooke) the audience was invited to sing the National Anthem.
A Royal Salute finished with a second Kenyan song, ZUVA.

Creative Team
David Stowell – Director and Musical Director, A Royal Salute
Anna Mudeka – Director, African Choir of Norfolk
Marcus Patteson – Executive Director, NORCA & Sistema in Norwich
Jane Warden – Deputy County Commissioner, Norfolk Scouts
Amanda Bennett – Coordinator, A Royal Salute
Peter Wilson DL – Producer, A Royal Salute
Mike Yarde – Chorus coordinator


Her Majesty The Queen sent a special message to the participants in advance of the performances:

To view the official message click here

The Queen was pleased to receive your kind message of loyal greetings, sent on behalf of all those participating in the Big Sing at the Royal Norfolk Show which is being held on 29th and 30th June to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The Queen much appreciates your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and, in return, sends her warm good wishes to all concerned for a most enjoyable event.

Aldborough Primary School, Cawston CE Primary Academy, Colby Primary, Coltishall Primary School, Corpusty Primary School, Drake Primary School, Ellingham VC Primary School, Fakenham Junior School, Filby Primary School, Flegg High Ormiston Academy, Foulsham Primary School, Great Dunham Primary, Hopton CE Primary Academy, Long Stratton High School, Martham Academy and Nursery School , Morley CE VA Primary School, Northgate High School Dereham, Robert Kett Primary School, Saxlingham Nethergate CE VC Primary School, St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, St Mary’s Community Primary School Beetley, St Peter’s CE Primary Academy, Tacolneston CE VA Primary School, Thomas Bullock CE Primary and Nursery Academy, Winterton Primary School and Nursery, Woodton Primary School

African Choir of Norfolk

Jubilee Samba Band (specially created by NORCA & Sistema in Norwich, funded by the Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee fund via the Norfolk Community Foundation)

Norfolk Scouts – Royal Salute Jambuilee Team

Norwich Community Choir
Village Voices
Sound Matters
Iceni Choir
Emergency Services Choir
Mid Norfolk Singers
The D’Capo Choir

Norfolk County Ensemble

Special thanks to

Alison Bell (Head of Music Service, Norfolk Music Hub), Krista Ribbons (Area Manager, Norfolk Music Hub), Maria Skitmore (RNAA), Jamie Athill DL (Showground coordination), Jakki Julnes (Production and Stage Manager), Brad Fitt (Production Consultant)

Musical Director: David Stowell

David began his career at the Royal Military School of Music and on leaving HM Coldstream Guards furthered his studies in London and Boston. He continued to work with orchestras in the UK, a memorable highlight being the performance of a new work by Edmund Rubbra with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. He has since appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

For the Millennium Festival at the National Indoor Arena David was commissioned to compose the music for the opening ceremony.

Commonwealth Music Director: Anna Mudeka

Local musician Anna Mudeka, Founder and Artistic Director of Tambai Promotions, is a passionate and charismatic ambassador for the arts and culture of the sub-Saharan continent. Multi-instrumentalist, actress, singer, writer and educator, she is a polymath proud to share the ancestral heritage of her native Zimbabwe through performance and workshops, inviting audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to immerse themselves in sounds, spiritualism and fables of Africa.

Norfolk Music Hub are offering educational settings across Norfolk the opportunity to participate in this very special performance of ‘A Royal Salute’ at the Royal Norfolk Show through co-ordination of school vocal participants, musical direction and arrangement of the piece, distribution of resources and widening the opportunity to all of our instrumental learners countywide to play as part of the orchestra for this mammoth event.”

NORCA & Sistema in Norwich are excited to be involved in Norfolk’s celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and giving children and young people taking part in our programmes the opportunity to be part of ‘A Royal Salute’.”