The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment
Director of Music: : Flight Lieutenant Matthew Little GTCL(Hons) FTCL LRSM DipTCL RAF
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 originally formed from the Royal Air Force Coastal Command Band, following the establishment of the Royal Air Force Regiment at Belton Park in 1942. The Band relocated to RAF Catterick in 1946, remaining there until the closure of the station in 1994. The next five years were turbulent for the Band and its personnel with no less than four relocations, the last being in 1999 to its present location at Royal Air Force Cranwell in Lincolnshire, working alongside the Band of the Royal Air Force College.
The established strength of the Band is forty-one musicians, all of whom are auditioned before acceptance into the service and are required to perform to a very high standard of musicianship. Training at each rank is provided at Headquarters Music Services at Royal Air Force Northolt. All musicians are encouraged to improve their personal standards and to widen their musical horizons by private study and participation in musical activities outside the service.
The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment has earned a worldwide reputation for outstanding quality. On parade and ceremonial occasions it plays stirring marches of both modern and traditional origins and in its concert role performs a wide repertoire of music to suit every taste. The Band’s versatility is demonstrated further by its ability to provide a variety of smaller musical combinations for dinners, dances and other special occasions.
Over the years the Band has travelled extensively including tours of Europe, Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, as well as visits to Belize, Hong Kong, Iraq and South Korea. At home the Band’s wide variety of engagements include state visits, changing the guard at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, radio and TV broadcasts and many other concerts and parades. Most recently, in June 2007, the Band was given the opportunity to feature in a live broadcast on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
In recent years the Band has played in honour of Her Majesty The Queen for her birthday celebrations in the British Embassies in Sarajevo, Budapest and Brussels, has taken part in the NATO Musikfest in Kaiserslautern, Germany in 2003, and has entertained the troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo and Oman. The Band is a regular performer at the Edinburgh Tattoo most recently in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2012 both on its own and as part of the Royal Air Force Massed Bands, as well as giving musical support to The Queen’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force Regiment.
The Band of the RAF Regiment has made many recordings during its history. The most recent was recorded on CD in March 2004 and includes favourites such as “The Dambusters March” and “633 Squadron”, the more contemporary “East Coast Pictures” and “Riverdance”, and also features music by the RAF Shades of Blue Orchestra, Saxophone Quartet and Tuba Quartet.
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