The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment
Director of Music: Flying Officer Chris I'Anson
Bandmaster: Warrant Officer Neil Warrillow
Band Sergeant: Flight Sergeant Andrew Allott
Drum Major: Chief Technician Ian Harding
The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment was formed on 20 August 1942 from the RAF Coastal Command Band when it was relocated to RAF Belton Park following the establishment of the RAF Regiment there in the same year. Following the closure of RAF Belton Park in 1946, the Band was relocated to RAF Catterick where it stayed until the closure of the station in 1994. The next five years were turbulent for the Band with no less than four relocations, the last being in 1999 to its present location at Royal Air Force College Cranwell in Lincolnshire, working alongside The Band of the Royal Air Force College.
The Band of the RAF Regiment has earned a worldwide reputation for outstanding musical quality. The Band performs around 250 engagements a year throughout the UK. These include Graduation ceremonies from Initial Officer Training at RAFC Cranwell, Pass out Parades for new recruits at RAF Halton, Homecoming Parades, Freedom Parades, concerts and Air Show displays. In recent years the Band has also taken part in state visits, Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, radio and television broadcasts and the Edinburgh Tattoo in 2004, 2009 and 2012. The Band travels extensively with recent visits to Basra, Iraq in 2004 for a Beating the Retreat and Sunset ceremony, Gibraltar in 2009, musical support for British Forces Cyprus in 2008 and 2013 and most recently to India in March 2012 to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Band of the RAF Regiment has made many recordings during its history. The most recent being a CD recorded in August 2011 at St. Michael’s Church, RAFC Cranwell. From Russia with Love is a medley of music by Russian composers and associated with Russia. It includes well known works such as Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and Jazz Suite No. 2 and a modern twist on Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Also included are the marches Den Pobedy and Proschaniye Slavjanki which were performed by the Band in May 2010 when they took part in the 65th anniversary parade of the Allied Forces victory in Europe in Moscow’s Red Square.
The established strength of the Band is currently thirty nine musicians, all of whom are auditioned before acceptance into the service and are required to perform to a very high musical standard. Training at each rank is provided by Headquarters Music Services at Royal Air Force Northolt. All musicians are encouraged to improve their individual standards and to widen their musical horizons through private study and participation in musical activities outside the service.
Royal Air Force Shades of Blue
Royal Air Force Shades of Blue is the Band of the RAF Regiment's Big BandThe RAF Shades of Blue Big Band