Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949) was already a well-known conductor and composer when he wrote Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens (Solemn Entrance of the Knights of the Order of Saint John) in 1909. One of only a handful of his works written exclusively for winds, Strauss’s powerful, majestic Feierlicher Einzug was composed for the investiture ceremonies of the Order of St. John, a Christian military order that was founded in Jerusalem in 1023 to care for poor, sick, or injured pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land. Strauss scored Feierlicher Einzug (TrV 224) for a large ensemble of fifteen trumpets, four horns, four trombones, two tubas and timpani. Strauss saw enough potential in its stately character and majestic conclusion to produce a version for symphony orchestra with organ and it has been arranged for a variety of brass ensembles with or without organ since then.
This version for British style brass band was adapted from the original in 1990 by Paul Hindmarsh for the exclusive use of Besses o’ th’ Barn Band, of which he was then the musical director. Now that the music of Richard Strauss published in his lifetime is in the public domain, Solemn Procession, as it has been rendered in English, can be enjoyed by all brass bands and their audiences.