home our next production join us support us the G&S singers who we are members cast & staff The Durham Savoyards, Ltd.

Our Ceremonial Music


  1. Download and install the Scorch plug-in (click here for free download)
  2. View the song parts you want to learn by clicking a link at right


The Durham Savoyards have a long-standing tradition of beginning and ending each of our annual mainstage performances with particular songs. We always stand and sing "God Save the Queen" as Queen Victoria and her entourage enter her special balcony just before the show begins, and we always end the evening with "Hail Poetry" (originally from Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance").

Often, Savoyards who are in the audience will join in singing one or both of these songs, and the bond of this tradition has been known to bring tears to the eyes of long-time Savoyards who haven't been able to join us on stage for a particular production.

Anyone is welcome to sing along, whether you've been a Savoyard for years or just one night. Our music director, Alan Riley Jones, has provided some resources to help.

These tools for learning our two ceremonial songs use a free plug-in that should work for most systems, the Sibelius Scorch plug-in. Follow the link above to download this plug-in so that you can join us in singing our traditional songs!

About The Scorch Plug-in

To look at most of the music here, you'll need the Sibelius Scorch plug-in (click here for free download).

While you are at the Scorch download page, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the toolbar instructions. In particular, you will want to be comfortable with the play and stop buttons. The tempo slider will let you slow down the tempo for practice if you wish.

If your computer has more than one MIDI sound device, you can use the "Choose Playback Device" tool to select which sound source to use for playback.

You may transpose the key if you wish to match the music to your vocal range, but bear in mind that in Durham Savoyards productions, we sing these pieces in G major and D major as given. After changing the tempo or transposing the key, you can restore the original settings by refreshing your browser.

Scorch is compatible with recent releases of Microsoft Internet Explorer and some other web browsers, but not all. Depending on your screen resolution, you may need to scroll your browser window up and down during playback.

These Sibelius scores and much of this text were created by Alan Riley Jones on behalf of the Durham Savoyards Ltd, Durham, NC.

See each title for copyright or public domain status. Contact the Durham Savoyards Limited if you would like to use our copyrighted material in paid performances.

Quick link to the plug-ins system requirements and download information

How to use these scores

For each piece, select ALL PARTS if you would like to hear all the choral parts played back equally, or if you wish to print the score.

You may select an individual choral part to help isolate that part from the overall texture. The featured part, highlighted in red notes and lyrics, is played back prominently, while all the other parts are partially muted. The individual parts are not printable.

God Save the Queen (Sullivan/Bendall/Jones version)

Copyright © 2006, Alan Riley Jones.

At the start of each Durham Savoyards performance, a drum roll heralds the entrance of Queen Victoria into the royal box. The orchestra strikes up God Save the Queen, and the audience (led by the Royal Chorus comprising the Queen's theatre-going entourage) joins in the singing to welcome Her Majesty to the evening's festivities.

The harmonic arrangement given here originated in Arthur Sullivan's ballet, Victoria and Merrie England, written on the occasion of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. God Save the Queen is heard as the closing sixteen bars of the ballet. The original orchestration does not survive. A piano reduction by Wilfred Bendall, an associate of Sullivan's, was published in 1897. Our vocal parts, the introductory measures, and orchestration were produced by Alan Riley Jones. The piano part from the fourth measure to the end is Bendall's published reduction.

See the links to the Scorch plug-in files in the side column of this page.

ceremonial_music/00_gstq_sull_orch.mp3 - Listen to the full orchestration MP3 (synthesized using Kontakt Player Silver). You'll need a plug-in that plays mp3 files.

Hail, Poetry

Public domain

Sung after every show - As the evening draws to a close, the entire company greet the applause of the audience and sing to them an encore of our Savoyards' anthem, Hail, Poetry from The Pirates of Penzance.

See the links to the Scorch plug-in files in the side column of this page.

**NOTE: "Tenor 2" playback is given for those Tenors who sing the middle (Bass 1) part during divisi passages.

HailPoetry.pdf "Hail Poetry" in Acrobat (PDF) format (32 KB)
(free reader software)