The most well-known of the Elgar's six marches, March No. 1 in D, was completed in July 1901. Its central melody hails from before these dates, and as Elgar told a friend, "I've got a tune that will knock 'em flat---knock 'em flat! . . . a tune like that comes once in a lifetime . . ." It was premiered in October 1901 in Liverpool and was repeated in London a few days later. The result was sensational and had to be played a third time to restore order to the audience.
In the United States, the trio section "Land of Hope and Glory" is often known simply as "Pomp and Circumstance" or as "The Graduation March" and is played as the processional tune at many high school and college graduation ceremonies. It was first played in 1905 at Yale University, where Elgar had been invited to attend commencement and receive an honorary doctorate of music. This edition for symphony band was transcribed by M.J. Retford and edited and revised by Alfred Reed. (6:00)