Northampton Air Cadets First off the grid!!

Saturday 1st April 2017 saw the marching band from 5F (Northampton) Squadron band open the ‘Hankook 24 Hour Touring Car Endurance Series’ at the famous Silverstone race circuit.
Initially the band, marched down The Paddock behind the pits where they gave a mini performance to the sponsors of the race, Hankook. After this, the band entered the pit lane before marching on to the track at the starting grid, to entertain the drivers, teams and public with their musical ability, smart marching and precise manoeuvres for approximately 45 minutes.

5f Silverstone
After having the whole track width to play & march on initially, the band then marched up and down the starting grid with all the cars in position whilst the general public were looking around. This meant the band had to become very narrow in formation to avoid any collision with cars and people alike. Precision is a key word in motorsport and it was definitely the keyword for the band too.
There were numerous photographers from various motor sport journals taking photographs of the band as well as camera crews including from Silverstone TV and Sky TV. Good footage of the band was aired live on both of these channels. One brave cameraman even filmed the band whilst they marched around him in narrow formation through the grid.
As the start time became imminent, the band assisted the track marshals to clear the public from the starting grid by marching back down through the grid between the cars shepherding the public before them, before turning off into the pit lane and coming to a halt in the Paddock area.
Once instruments had been packed away, all that remained was to watch some of the race from our vantage point at Brooklands Hospitality, which Silverstone kindly opened for the sole use of the band and staff.
For several band members, this event was their first time performing at such a high profile gathering and for others it was their first ever event in the public eye.
Cadet Benji Leggatt (13), symbolist, said afterwards: “The overall experience of getting to play at Silverstone was remarkable, let alone getting to play on the track. As this was my first parade in the band, I was a little nervous however I was fine once I got into a few tunes and really enjoyed myself.”
In addition, Cadet Altin Feka (17), Drum Major added: “Silverstone was a great experience and opening the race was a unique and memorable event in my cadet career. We had the chance and opportunity to take pride in what we represent as a Band, as a Squadron and the Corps through a variety of media including National television. Being able to take part in an event like this one, performing in a different environment in front of an international crowd has helped me personally in developing further as Drum Major and also the band as a whole.”

Submitted by CI D.Upton & Cdt J.Leggatt