Shortly after their return from a musical tour in Cyprus, the Band of the RAF Regiment performed for the RAF Music Services Association’s (RAFMuSA) reunion on 17 June 2018. RAFMuSA exists to foster goodwill amongst everyone who enjoys military music and to keep alive the comradeship of Royal Air Force Music Services. The organisation traces its formation to a dinner marking the retirement of Wing Commander Roy Davies in 1978. The success of this initial gathering led to it becoming an annual event, with attendance growing over the years until, on the 26 January 1987 it was officially inaugurated at a service in Westminster Abbey.
Today the Association numbers over 300 members, located across the globe - wherever RAF Music Services’ members have landed. Membership is primarily intended to include current and ex-serving members of RAF Music Services, but all who are interested in music in the RAF, are welcome to join as an Associate Member. Members receive?The Blue and the Gold?magazine, which is published twice a year and is full of information about the current bands, as well as memories of the past from previous members of the Service. The Principal Director of Music, Wing Commander Piers Morrell remarked his pleasure at seeing the list of members printed at the back of the magazine, growing year on year.
That original dinner in 1978 has grown into a much larger annual event, usually held in July in the bandroom at RAF Northolt or RAF Cranwell. The activities begin on Saturday evening with a dinner before gathering for the main reunion, usually beginning with tea and coffee and followed by the Association’s Annual General Meeting.
After lunch, the host band performs a concert for the attendees; this year, Regiment Band reprised a selection of music from concerts they had given in Cyprus. The final event of the day is a joint band of RAFMuSA members and current RAF Musicians – called 'The Vets’ Blow'. This was very enjoyable for all involved and, after having played Silverado and Hymn to New England and the classic Dambusters, RAFMS personnel, new and old, lingered at the stand to swap stories and experiences.
Article by Senior Aircraftman James Giddings
Please take a look at our Friends of the RAF Music scheme.