The British Army Band Tidworth created history earlier this month when they became the first full British brass band to perform at the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony in Buckingham Palace.
The band was formed in September 2019 and is one of three full time brass bands within the Royal Corps of Army Music. Its members include musicians with backgrounds in the brass band movement.
The band had recently been invited to provide musical support for a local battalion of mechanical engineers who have been given the honour of mounting guard in the nation's capital.
The Changing the Guard on Monday 13th September was the landmark occasion and provided the British Army Band Tidworth with the opportunity to showcase their musical excellence.
The event has been enjoyed by millions of spectators at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and is usually carried out by active duty soldiers from the Foot Guards who have guarded Sovereign and Royal Palaces since 1660. Until now the ceremony has been accompanied by a full military band.
Brass for Africa
The Band's debut was an equally auspicious moment for the 'Brass for Africa' charity and the pioneering work it has undertaken over many years.
Musicians Akampulira and Bogere from British Army Band Tidworth were joined by Musicians Namugera and Ssegawa from The Band of the Household Cavalry for the occasion — testament both to the players themselves and the organisation which has supported them.
Over half of the band is made up of former or currently registered brass band performers — from the likes of Flowers, Desford, Aldbourne, Woodfalls, Brunel and many others in the local area.
Speaking about the occasion, Lance Corporal Ieuan Walton who also plays tuba with Flowers Band said: "It's a great tradition and I'm proud that we were the first British Army Brass Band to do it.
It's even more special to me as I am serving in the same band as my brother so we shared the experience together. The public reaction to the band as it marched down the Mall was incredible."
Meanwhile, Musician Danny Jones who also plays with Aldbourne Band, added: "It's really put the British Army Band Tidworth on the map, especially as brass bands hold such a long tradition within British music culture."
The public reaction to the band as it marched down the Mall was incredibleLance Corporal Ieuan Walton
The programme of music featured included some familiar fayre with Philip Harper's invigorating 'The Night of the Tiger', Paul Lovatt-Cooper's arrangement of 'Nobody Does It Better' and also he, 'Walking with Heroes'.
Closing thoughts It has been a long journey in getting the band fit for the upcoming run of duties in London but now the first performance at Buckingham Palace is under the belt it's onwards and upwards.
A band spokesperson summed the experience up by telling 4BR: "Everyone relished the work involved to prepare for such a prestigious and historic occasion.
The brass band ethos that is ever present within this band is what sets us apart from the other British Army wind bands. There is a huge sense of pride and responsibility upon the shoulders of the band and showcase it in this way to the public was fantastic."