Royal Air Force Music, based at RAF Northolt and RAFC Cranwell, incorporates:

Headquarters Music Services

Central Band of the Royal Air Force & the Royal Air Force Squadronaires

Band of the Royal Air Force College & the Royal Air Force Swing Wing

Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment & the Royal Air Force Shades of Blue

Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra

Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force

Our Mission is:
To provide optimum musical support for the Royal Air Force in order to enhance public perception, support State Ceremonial and achieve influence to further Defence and National interests.

Booking Enquiries

The committee can consider requests up to 12 months in advance of your engagement, therefore an early submission is recommended. Enquiries should be made through the Engagements Coordinator at Headquarters Music Services. They will present any requests to The Ministry of Defence Royal Air Force Bands Allocation Committee who authorise the allocation and execution of the engagement based on availability and Financial Categories.

Enquiry and Booking Form

Financial Categories Information

Contact The Engagements Coordinator Gary Cooney

Email: Gary.Cooney696@mod.gov.uk

Phone: +44 (0)300 154 8621 / +44 (0)7917 051021


Current Vacancies:

Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, French Horn, Tuba, Percussion

For more RAF Music careers information please click here or contact Jim Moss

Telephone: +44 (0)300 1631937 / +44 (0)7554 116071
Email: James.Moss935@mod.gov.uk

For further information on the application process or Recruit Training at RAF Halton please visit RAF Careers



For publicity materials contact Neil Chapman

Telephone: +44 (0)300 154 2806 / +44 (0)7773 966812

Email: neil.chapman904@mod.gov.uk

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Roles of the RAF Music Services

When Sir Walford Davies and Sir George Dyson worked together to establish music in the newly formed Royal Air Force, they recognised the need for bands that would inspire the early airmen and give them a sense of pride in their new service.

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force was established in 1920 and since its formation has played an integral and unique role in military life and in the musical world.  In 1922 they were the first military band to broadcast on the BBC.  They play a vital part in State Ceremonial events, as well as performing across the United Kingdom in support of Service charities and Military Tattoos.  Central Band have led several commemoration events including the RAF Centenary parade through London in July 2018 when 100 RAF musicians led the parade of over 1000 RAF servicemen and women down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Band of the RAF College: In 1920 Major George Dyson set RAF Music Services on a proper footing and the Band of the RAF College was formed at RAF College Cranwell where its home has been ever since.  Although its primary function was to provide musical support for the college it was has since excelled and became the first ever military band to be recorded in concert, live for broadcast on Sky Arts.  Now in its centenary year the band continues to perform at a diverse range of venues and engagements across the United Kingdom and in countries worldwide.

Band of the RAF Regiment: Since its formation in 1942 the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment has boasted a proud and distinguished heritage.  From Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace to live BBC Radio broadcasts, the Band continues to demonstrate its versatility and excellence.  Not only does the Band tour extensively in support of British Forces overseas, but it performs many concerts in support of Service charities and has close links with the local communities around RAF Northolt.

The RAF Salon Orchestra are an independent 7-piece string ensemble who provide background music for Royal, State and Service engagements where a lighter touch of tradition and pageantry is appropriate.  String instrumentalists have served in RAF Music Services from its beginnings and in 1937, founded its own Symphony Orchestra which reached its peak during the war years when many of the finest players from the London orchestras applied to serve.  The end of World War 2 drastically reduced their number and the Salon Orchestra was formed in 1949.

Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force: Formation took place at Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 2015 with its first attestation in 2016.  Consisting of four full time Reserve staff at their Headquarters, the other members of the Band are Part Time Volunteer Reserve (PTVR) Musicians who are contracted to a minimum of 27 days per year.  The Band undertake a variety of engagements both independently and in support of the three Regular Royal Air Force Bands.

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