The tune Pomp and Circumstance, by English composer Edward Elgar, is often associated with high school and college graduation ceremonies. Elgar composed six “Pomp and Circumstance Marches” over his lifetime. The first five of these marches were composed between 1901 and 1930. The sixth march was published posthumously in 2005-2006, based on musical sketches.
The trio section of March No. 1, “Land of Hope and Glory”, is well known and often referred to as “Pomp and Circumstance”, or the “Graduation March”, in the United States, Canada and the Philippines.
This summer I attended an outdoor and socially distanced graduation party in August for my niece. The party was delayed due the coronavirus pandemic. My niece was a band student and played trumpet. In attendance at her party were fellow classmates from her school’s marching band and concert band. Ironically, these band students would have typically played at the annual graduation ceremony. Given that there was no in-person graduation ceremony this year, I felt bad for them. Since they have played music at graduation ceremonies for prior graduating classes, now they did not enjoy a traditional gradution ceremony themselves.
So I was inspired to learn this tune and arrange it for guitar. One version is single note melody and guitar chords. The other version is my fingerstyle guitar arrangement.
Congratulations graduates! Best of luck.