Facebook Live Concert at RAF Northolt

Band of the RAF Regiment rehearse in their bandroom.
The view from the percussion section as the Band of the RAF Regiment rehearse for their Facebook Live concert; recording equipment is set up and visible at the far end of the studio.
Image: Crown Copyright RAF Northolt Photographic Section.

On Wednesday 24 July the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment performed an entertaining and eclectic concert on home turf from their Bandroom at Royal Air Force Northolt.  It was broadcast on the Facebook Live platform to a much wider national and international audience, watched from places as far afield as Texas and Australia!  This concert was also attended by members of the Friends of RAF Music, which is free to join and offers benefits such as free recordings and free or discounted tickets to concerts.  For the playing musicians and those operating the cameras and sound equipment behind the scenes, this presented some technical challenges, not least keeping the live music and pre-recorded interview segments synchronised throughout the one-hour broadcast.

Listeners first heard music by Mark Watters, Forged in Fire – a fast, energising opening to the concert.  More familiar was the blockbuster film music of Apollo 13, featuring Corporal Ben Murray on the trumpet.  The music from Apollo 13 was chosen to acknowledge our Service’s branch out into space, and the reformation of 11 Group.

Throughout the concert pre-recorded interviews of the musicians were broadcast in between pieces.  Interviewees included the Director of Music, Flight Lieutenant Tom Rodda, the Deputy Drum Major, Sergeant Hilary Rosenthal, Sergeant Warren Ringham, Corporal James Giddings, Senior Aircraftwoman  Hannah Green, Senior Aircraftman Elliot Milum and Senior Aircraftwoman Sarah Smith.

Another highlight from the concert was SAC Elliot Milum’s performance of Ordner Seg by Øystein Baadsvik.  SAC Milum was a finalist in the RAF Charitable Trust Soloist Award this year – he reprised his competition entry for the broadcast.  His classy, delicate and deeply expressive playing put a calming twist on the concert.

Andrew Pearce’s exhilarating composition Lightning II was chosen to end the proceedings, a high-octane tribute to the newest fifth generation multi-role aircraft that came into Service earlier this year.

The event was managed by RAF Music’s Social Media Manager Sergeant Warren Ringham;

This broadcast was our most ambitious to date, but thanks to the superb teamwork by everyone involved it was a huge success and the end result was very satisfying.  These Facebook Live Concerts are a fundamental part of our Digital Strategy and are helping to grow our audience numbers.  In the past 12 months RAF Music’s posts have reached over 2 million people, which allows us to not only promote the great work of RAF Music but reflect the professionalism of the Royal Air Force as a whole.

A special thanks to all those who attended the concert and viewed the broadcast.  The concert can be viewed again on the RAF Music’s Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/RoyalAirForceMusic.

 

Article: Corporal James Giddings

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