Carl Davis has been commissioned to write a symphonic anthem for the Leeds Rhinos, current Rugby League world champions.
Leeds Rhinos and Leeds City Council have commissioned a triumphal fanfare and march from Davis, to become the team theme for future seasons. Entitled, Hold On!, it will be played at each game as the Leeds players emerge onto the pitch at all their home games. The commission is part of a year-long project jointly being carried out by the council, the strategic partnership group for the city, Leeds Initiative, and the Rhinos, to promote both club and city.
This striking and unusual venture by a sports club into the world of classical music lasts seven minutes. It will be premiered as the highlight of a “Film Music Spectacular” concert at Leeds Town Hall on 20 November. Carl Davis will conduct the Orchestra of Opera North in music from films such as classic film tunes such as Chariots of Fire, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Rocky, Chicago, Gladiator, and his own Champions.
In a sporting context, Davis’s best-known score is Champions, written for the film starring John Hurt as Bob Champion, jockey of 1981 Grand National winning horse, Aldaniti. The title theme from the film is used annually in the BBC TV coverage of the Grand National race.
The composer says: “I consider it a great honour to have been asked to compose the music for that dramatic moment when the Leeds Rhinos takes to the field. We should feel both the fear and the wonder.”
Councillor John Procter, chairman of Leeds Cultural Partnership, added: “Everyone involved is hugely excited about having someone of Carl’s stature performing at Leeds Town Hall and it is sure to be a night to remember. In particular, we cannot wait to hear the new anthem for the Rhinos for the first time – we are all intrigued to find out what Carl has produced.”
Chief Executive of Leeds Rugby, Gary Hetherington, said: “This has been a very exciting project and something completely new and innovative for any sporting club. We are really proud that Carl Davis has honoured us with his new piece.”
For further information about the concert, click here.