Commissioned by the Band of the Coldstream Guards to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Coldstream Guards Association, Hougoumont is a work for band and narrator that tells the story of the battle at Hougoumont Farm, a battle which the Duke of Wellington himself said was the single battle that led to victory in the battle of Waterloo.
Hougoumont opens with a saxophone solo, a lone soldier, having wearily made their way to Quatre Bras, in desperate need of rest and sleep. Instead, the order comes through to move on to Hougoumont Farm.
The battle at Hougoumont follows, with musket fire heard in shock notes through the band. The final, sombre, passage reflects on the victory (the chorale in the brass) before reflecting on the 1500 casualties suffered in the battle.
The Band of the Coldstream Guards, conducted by their Director of Music Darren Wolfendale, gave the world première of Hougoumont, the first work written for them as their “composer in residence” on 14 February 2013, Cadogan Hall, London.