The Regimental March
Arnold Safroni was the pseudonym for Arnold Safroni Middleton a novelist, composer and dramatist. He was born in the county of Kent England in 1873. He studied violin at an early age and became the concert master of the theatre Orchestra in Her Majesties Theatre in Sydney Australia. He also performed with the Carl Rosa Opera orchestra in London .Most of Safroni Middleton’s compositions were composed between 1900 and 1920 and was published by Boosey and Hawkes. The compositions with the exception of Imperial Echoes have long since faded from the orchestral repertoire, however some of his music has been performed by the Palm Court Orchestra on their many CDs as he wrote a number of salon pieces for small orchestra. His marches include ‘Light Regiment’, ‘Salute the Standard’ and ‘The Scottish Chief’. ‘Imperial Echoes’ was first published in 1913 but remained virtually unknown for 30 years and during the war the BBC were looking for a signature tune for its daily Newsreel feature and after due consideration it was selected for the theme. After several performances it soon became a rallying sound and people all over England began whistling the strains of this popular march. It was so popular that when the Canadian Broadcasting System began its inaugural TV broadcasts in 1953 that the theme was once again used in connection with the nightly news .
‘Imperial Echoes’ today remains one of the most popular marches in the Military band repertoire and was the Regimental quick march of the Royal Army Pay Corps. It was also the Regimental March for the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles.