15-Year-Old Musician Helps Mark WWI Centenary
As the world celebrated the centenary observance marking the end of the first World War on November 11th, the traditional sounds of ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ rang out also in Bermuda, the notes commemorating the millions of people that perished during both WWI and WWII.
The person tasked with the honour of playing the poignant musical tributes was born years after both World Wars ended, with 15-year-old Alexander Miller performing the noteworthy honour.
And while not the first parade the young musician had played in with the Bermuda Regiment Band, it was one of the most memorable as he blew forth the melodious tone.
“I played the cornet in the Parade for the ‘Last Post’,” said Miller. “I started playing the trumpet when I was 10. The trumpet and cornet and bugle mouthpieces are all relatively the same, so I was easily able to pick up the cornet. I have also played the piano since I was five.”
Miller started with the Regiment band in June of this year after being introduced to members following his participation at a Master-class featuring Matthew Ross on trumpet.
Even with years so young Miller has much to his resume of retreats and ceremony.
“I performed at the Beating of the Retreat this summer,” he noted. “Since I only started in June, I missed all of the big performances from last season, but I have also played the trumpet at the Governor’s Christmas party a few years ago and I’m part of the Regiment Brass Quintet as well which played at the Commemoration of the Centenary at the Cathedral on November 10th.”
The teenager explained how he developed the bug for marching band performing after many trips as an even younger youngster to the many pomp and ceremonial displays.
“My father would bring me to the parade when I was younger but this is the first time that I was a part of it,” he said. “Frankly, I was terrified to play in front of his Excellency the Governor, the Premier and all the other dignitaries, but at the same time, I was very excited.
“The Regiment was able to give me the opportunity to play at the event and I don’t think many musicians my age would get to do such an occasion, so I consider myself very lucky and grateful and I’m thankful to Sergeant Fox, Major Dwight Robinson and the rest of the Regiment band.”
Speaking about his future, he told Bernews, “I don’t think I will have a career in music, but I will always have it with me. I might join a band or group and I also enjoy composing music and might try to write some pieces.”
Away from blowing the horns Miller has a penchant for cycling in his spare time, a discipline with which he’s proven also to be adept.
“I cycle competitively in the Adult A class for the road bike season and I will be doing the Fat Tire Massive mountain bike series,” said the athlete/musician. “I missed the first race due to the parade.”
By musical march or by pedal, Miller stays harmoniously in step.