The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment
Director of Music: Flight Lieutenant Chris I'Anson
Bandmaster: Warrant Officer David Richards
Band Sergeant: Flight Sergeant Paul Craggs
Drum Major: Chief Technician Mark Chappell
Music has always been an integral part of military life and since its formation in 1942 the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment has boasted a proud and distinguished heritage.
Originally the RAF Coastal Command Band, the band was renamed on its relocation to the RAF Regiment Depot at Belton Park, Grantham. In 1946 the band moved with the depot to a new base at Catterick, where it remained until the closure of the station in 1994. In 2015 the band moved from RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire to purpose built, state of the art facilities at RAF Northolt.
From Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace to live BBC Radio broadcasts, the Band of the RAF Regiment continues to demonstrate its versatile and unique role. In addition to undertaking many varied domestic engagements throughout the year, the Band has travelled extensively in support of British Forces overseas. Notable events have included visiting Basra in Iraq for a Beating the Retreat and Sunset Ceremony in 2004, taking part in the 65th Anniversary Parade of the Allied Forces Victory in Europe in Moscow’s Red Square in 2010 and most recently, in 2012, travelling to India to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Within the United Kingdom, the Band enjoys supporting numerous Service charities. Most notable is their partnership with the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, with whom RAF Music Services undertake an annual concert tour, covering a dozen cities and several of the country’s major concert halls. 2014 saw musicians from the Band of the RAF Regiment perform a live broadcast alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’. The Band has also recently featured on the BBC1 programme ‘Songs of Praise’.
Alongside this broadcasting success, the musicians of the band are also well acquainted with the recording studio. The Band of the RAF Regiment has released many albums in its history, most recently joining forces with the Band of the RAF College in recording the RAF Charitable Trust’s 2014 ‘RAF in Concert’ Tour CD. Plans are afoot to record a new album later in 2015.
There is, however, another side to the work of RAF musicians. As serving members of the Royal Air Force, musicians are also required to support key operational roles in less familiar environments. In recent years some of our musicians have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the Falkland Islands, fulfilling a diverse range of operational roles from detainee handling to driving ambulances.
From the concert stage to operational theatres around the globe, our musicians display, in their conduct and performance, the excellence for which the Royal Air Force has become renowned throughout its history.