National Marching Band Camp

From the 27th August to the 3rd September 2017, I attended the annual summer National Marching Band camp which is based at RAF Halton. After being a part of the RAFAC NMB for almost 2 years, it was the first week in which I had two performances to attend, as opposed to the usual one.

We trained all week for both performances, consistently practicing the music pieces that we would display, and as a drummer, we rehearsed the songs as well as rudiments. I had learnt things that I had never previously known, even through being a snare drummer for many years! The National Marching Band provides an excellent foundation to build up your knowledge and skills as a musician; every camp guarantees new skills, skills that I can bring back and pass down to the corps of drums in our own Squadron band.

After a sufficient amount of rehearsals and learning throughout the course of the week, Our first performance arrived on the Saturday. A smaller band performed at the Polish Air Force Memorial Ceremony at Northolt and later on, the whole band played for the VIP’s at RAF Northolt. The guest list included, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, current Air Chief Marshal and Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Patron of the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee.

Our second performance was on Sunday, when we travelled to the National Memorial Arboretum and led the parade for the National Service (RAF) Association, which was another high profile event.

This week has more or less concluded my second year as a member of the RAFAC NMB, and I hope to carry on my services as a member of the Corps of Drums!

By FS Shannon Copeland