RAF Musicians spread Christmas cheer.

December is never complete without festive music.  Royal Air Force Music Services have been spreading melodic joy throughout this season.  We would like to wish our friends and supporters a Merry Christmas; may the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow.  Please scroll down to view our good times and treasures from this month.

The Band of the Royal Air Force College performed their Christmas Concert Series at Whittle Hall, culminating in a festive and fun Families' Concert.  A variety of soloists were featured: Chief Technician Jim Moss (turkey) & Senior Aircraftman Joe Kemp (frog) on the xylophone; Sergeant Isla Cheesebrough, Senior Aircraftwoman Kim Prout and Senior Aircraftwoman Rachel Boddice-Brown performed their special version of The 12 Days of Christmas; Senior Aircraftwoman Philippa Hobbs (vocals); Senior Aircraftman Craig Lutton (bodhran).
Photographs: CRN Official

 

A woman jumps out of an aircraft whilst parachute training.
Senior Aircraftwoman Sabina Haywood (Central Band of the Royal Air Force) jumps out of an aircraft whilst completing the Parachute Jump Foundation Course at the Skydiving Kingsfield  Airfield in Dhekelia, Cyprus.
Photograph: Senior Aircraftwoman Sabina Haywood

 

RAF Shades of Blue Big Band perform a Christmas concert wearing uniform and Christmas hats.
RAF Shades of Blue perform at Robin Park Leisure Centre, Wigan for the RAF Benevolent Fund Concert featuring the wonderful and dynamic vocalist, Emma Kershaw.
RAF Musicians provide entertainment for the OAP's Christmas Lunch.
The RAF Salon Orchestra entertain OAPs from the local community for their Christmas Lunch at the Warrant Officers' & Sergeants' Mess, RAF Northolt.  As well as playing incidental music, they led a sing-song, serenaded individuals, ran the bingo competition and helped the visually-impaired diners with the Christmas quiz questions.  Angie Brown, who organised the day, was delighted with the success of the event.
Photographs: NHT Official
Four musicians from the Band of the RAF College entertained the community in The Cranwell Hive where they brought some Christmas cheer to the lunchtime diners, who remarked;
“What a wonderful sound. It really feels like Christmas now.”  They were clearly thrilled by the performance, singing and clapping along to many of the Christmas carols and songs.
Brass quartet pictured left to right: Corporal David Pretorius, Senior Aircraftwoman Rachel Boddice-Brown, Senior Aircraftman James Richardson, Senior Aircraftman Cristen Richards.
Photograph: Senior Aircraftman Michael Howley

 

Three Musicians pose for the camera infront of a Christmas tree.
Musicians of the Central Band of the RAF get festive for their concert at the Millfield School in aid of the RAF Association; left to right, Senior Aircraftwomen Holly Blomfield (flute),  Katherine O'Grady (clarinet) & Corporal Ellen Driscoll (french horn).
Photograph: Senior Aircraftwoman Holly Blomfield.
Squadron Leader Matthew Little sings with the RAF Band.
Friday 7th December was the last day in uniform for our much-loved singing officer, Squadron Leader Matthew Little.  We will all miss his presence and incredible musicianship in RAF Music Services.  We send Matthew and his wife, Heather, our very best wishes as they embark upon exciting opportunities and new adventures in Australia.

 

RAF Musicians play Christmas carols to families.
Band of the RAF Regiment go caroling, entertaining Service families and bringing festive vibes onto the streets.
RAF personnel line up for a team photograph.
The team behind the scenes that have enabled the whole of RAF Music Services' out-put in this historical centenary year.
Photograph: Corporal Ben Tritta
An ensemble of musicians play music in a church.
A select ensemble specially formed from musicians from the RAF Salon Orchestra, Central Band of the RAF and the Band of the RAF Regiment with guest vocalist Eleanor Bloomfield create a Winter Wonderland, entertaining lunch-time concert-goers with a light programme of festive favourites at St Clement Danes.
The bell of a tuba with people reflected in the shine.
View, from the bell of a tuba, of the Graduation of Initial Officer Training Course No 56, Special Entrant & Re-Entrant Course No 42 and Reserve Officers' Initial Training Course No 62 at RAF College Cranwell on 13th December.  Music support was provided by the Band of the RAF College.
Photograph: CRN Official.
Large Christmas tree in the foreground; Trumpeters in the background.
Trumpeters of the Central Band of the RAF, viewed through foliage of the beautifully dressed Christmas tree, rehearse before their concert at St Clement Danes Church.
RAF Musicians are presented with a Gold Disc.
The RAF Squadronaires and the RAF Salon Orchestra, with their former Director of Music, Squadron Leader Matthew Little, were presented with a Gold Disc from Decca Records for the Dame Vera Lynn 100 CD (released in 2017).  The special edition features a bonus DVD recording of the complete  live 2-hour tribute concert at the London Palladium.
Musicians and singers rehearse in the Guard's Chapel.
Singers, Emma Kershaw & Alison Duguid, the Guards' Chapel Choir and the Band of the RAF Regiment rehearse for the VVIP Carol Concert in aid of SSAFA in the splendid Guards' Chapel.  This concert was recorded and will be broadcast on BFBS at 6pm on Christmas Eve.
Photograph: Emma Kershaw
A group of people smile for the camera.
The RAF Salon Orchestra played music to accompany the RAF Northolt Annual Christingle Service.
A big band plays music whilst people buy cakes for charity.
RAF Shades of Blue provide a festive atmosphere for the bake sale in aid of SSAFA.  Many of the delicious cakes were baked by clarinetist, Senior Aircraftwoman Hannah Green, (pictured middle).
Photographs: Senior Aircraftwoman Alexandra Pippen 
RAF Musicians smile for the camera.
Christmas is a great time for meeting up with old friends; the RAF Salon Orchestra were delighted to catch up with their previous Leader, Philip Andrews MBE.  He also joined the ensemble in playing music for the congregation arriving for the RAF Benevolent Fund 9 Lessons and Carols Service at St Clement Danes.
RAF Band and Military Wives Choir perform on-stage.
Tune into BBC Sounds to hear the Symphonic Brass of the Band of the RAF College alongside the Cranwell Military Wives Choir and a congregation in full-voice for the 2018 Christmas Service, recorded live at Whittle Hall last week.

RAF Music Services have enjoyed celebrating the wonder and joy of the festive season.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Article compiled by Sergeant Heather Andrews.

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