The peace and tranquillity of Royal Air Force Henlow in Bedfordshire was shattered during a sunny weekend in March as 32 Air Cadet musicians honed their skills in preparation for a busy summer of musical engagements.
The 32 cadets drawn from fifteen squadrons across the RAF Air Cadets’ Central and East Region came together for a weekend Music Camp organised by the Regions’ Director of Music, Squadron Leader Alan Glover, and supported by nine volunteer staff, to practice together as the Central and East Region Marching and Concert Band.
The cadets, already accomplished and talented musicians, spent time learning the art of playing and marching which needed the skills of Drill Instructor Sergeant (ATC) Howard Wolfe; “Marching in step and in time is difficult enough, to do it with instruments and playing as well is a remarkable thing to learn successfully in a weekend. The cadets were fantastic” said Howard.
The Concert Band musicians bring with them not only their own instruments, but the talent and musical ability they learn through their own resources. All these cadets are working toward various levels of qualification pertaining to their particular instrument. Bringing this all together as a Concert Band was the highly respected and skilled Corps Bandmaster, Warrant Officer (ATC) Mike Jefferies.
Yet another facet of the weekend concerned the role and movements performed by the leader of the marching band, the Drum Major, and this was ably imparted by Cadet Flight
Sergeant Edris Rada (17) of 332 (High Wycombe) Squadron. Edris, who lives and breaths the Band, is currently one of the Corps Drum Majors having progressed through the musical ranks of her Squadron’s band and demonstrated the ability and confidence to perform on the National Stage.
Asked his view of the weekend, Cadet Corporal Ben Kitchener of 2482 (Henlow) Squadron said; “ Brilliant, it was really useful for the developing my music. Working with cadets from different musical abilities has really helped me a lot.”
Central and East Region are still on the lookout for musicians of Grade 3 and above to join this talented group and fulfil the engagements already in the diary. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org