RAF Salon Orchestra

The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra

Leader: Sergeant Justine Stringer

String instrumentalists have been in evidence within Royal Air Force Music Services from the very beginning in 1920. Later in 1937, the Royal Air Force formed its own Symphony Orchestra which reached its peak during the war years when the majority of the finest players from the London orchestras applied to serve in the Royal Air Force.

The Salon Orchestra of The Central Band in unusual pose!

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Described as one of the greatest orchestras to grace the concert platform, the musicians received the highest accolades wherever they performed. In 1945 during a performance at the Potsdam Conference, two 'guest artists', President Truman and Mr Molotov, joined in the entertainment by playing the piano on stage with the orchestra.

The Salon Orchestra of the Central Band of RAF at the Edinburgh Tattoo 2009

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The termination of National Service meant a steady decline in string players within the Royal Air Force as the musicians returned to their previous posts, and with this brought about the disbandment of the Symphony Orchestra. Drastically reduced in number, the Salon Orchestra of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1949.

The Salon Orchestra of The Central Band perform in Cyprus

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Today, stationed at Royal Air Force Northolt alongside the Central Band of the RAF and the Band of the RAF Regiment, this independent six-piece orchestra’s principal role is to provide musical support for Royal, State and Service engagements and is the ideal combination for receptions, luncheons and dinners where a lighter touch of tradition and pageantry is appropriate.

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