Musician ADDED TO SAVED ROLES
Personnel support

Musician

RAF Musicians play a wide range of instruments – brass, woodwind, percussion and strings. They enjoy a varied life that includes performing, individual practice, rehearsals and travelling.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Perform at symphony halls, graduation ceremonies and military parades
  • Play dance music, chamber repertoire, military marches, symphonic concerts and jazz
  • Provide musical support for events like dinners, dances and visits by Heads of State

Similar civilian roles include Professional musician or Music teacher.

we are currently recruiting for musicians who play the following instruments:

Oboe, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, French Horn, Tenor Trombone, Tuba, Bass Guitar/String Bass, Percussion

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Musician in the RAF.

Key Facts

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£24,913 + Benefits

Pay during training

£14,783 + Benefits

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

12 years

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Airmen/Airwomen

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

RAuxAF Band - RAF Cranwell, Sleaford

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

‘There's no such thing as an average day for a musician in the RAF.’

In the RAF

My Role

'I am the Principal Trombonist for the Royal Air Force Central Band. We provide musical support for the RAF, ranging from Military and State events to concerts, television and radio broadcasts and studio recordings.

We take part in many different concerts in all the major concert halls in the country, such as Birmingham Symphony Hall, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and at the Barbican in London. We regularly take part in radio and television broadcasts, including the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on BBC 1 and Friday Night is Music Night with the BBC Concert Orchestra for BBC Radio 2. We have been featured on ITV’s This Morning programme as well as live performances on the Alan Titchmarsh show and have appeared several times on BBC 1’s The One Show and on Sky 1.

We also do many studio recordings for record labels such as Decca, Chandos and Naxos, which are regularly played on Classic FM and BBC Radio. The Royal Air Force Squadronaires big band album “In the Mood-The Glenn Miller Songbook” has sold in excess of 100,000 copies and got to number 4 in the Official UK Pop Charts. When we are not in the UK, we tour all over the world for Military Tattoos, State events and concert tours. To date I have played music for the RAF in India, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Canada, Cyprus, Poland and Germany.

Our military engagements include changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, Royal Jubilees, Royal Weddings and Funerals, Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London and graduation parades for new RAF Recruits at RAF Halton.'

My Day

'On a rehearsal day the morning session starts and 9 and finishes at 12 with a half hour break at 10, and an afternoon session may start at 1 and finish at 4. Concert days vary hugely, but generally we play from 7.30-10 pm with a twenty minute interval, these days normally include a fair amount of time travelling too. Every day is different. I play regularly in six different ensembles and a marching band too.

Sometimes our job is VERY busy and we go through patches of intense work, however the band managers work hard to make sure we get days off in lieu when we have missed days off and we do get 30 working days holiday a year (plus bank holidays). Our main blocks of leave (at Christmas, Easter and in the summer) are prescribed to us, but we are normally left with days in our allowance to take days here and there when we want (as long as someone can cover our instrument if there is an engagement on).'

Jonathan, Musician

Training

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Full Time
Regular

Recruit training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at Royal Air Force Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the ethos and heritage of the Royal Air Force.

Specialist Training

The next step is a period of specialist familiarization training at Royal Air Force Northolt. If you already play to the standards of a performance diploma, you’ll spend approximately 4 weeks at Headquarters Music Services (HQMS), studying your primary instrument, learning band drill and completing academic work, prior to your first posting to a Regular band. If you don’t yet play to the standards of a performance diploma, you’ll spend approximately 12 weeks at HQMS studying your primary instrument, learning band drill and academic work. You will then be detached or posted to one of the three Regular bands, depending on the rate of your progress in training.

Additional Qualification Opportunities

Musicians who complete the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) scheme have the opportunity to gain the following diplomas in music performance and music direction: LLCM, LTCL, Dip ABRSM, LRSM.

Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities

As a Musician, you’ll have extensive opportunities for further professional development throughout your career through the CPD scheme and the Force Development Flight at the Royal Air Force unit you are stationed at.

Your First Tour

On completion of your familiarization training at Royal Air Force Northolt you will be posted to one of the three Regular Bands located at either Royal Air Force Northolt or Royal Air Force College Cranwell. Initial tour length is normally for a period of 18 months but may vary due to operational demand.

Career Prospects/Progression

You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. Musicians have the opportunity to be considered for promotion up to the rank of Warrant Officer with qualification via the CPD scheme and with the requisite seniority. Suitable and qualified personnel may elect to undertake selection for commission as a Director of Music through the Internal Commissioning Scheme.

Transferable Skills

As a Musician in the RAF, you will have all the personal development opportunities and career prospects of your civilian counterparts, together with the chance to gain unique experiences whilst working around the world. When they decide to leave the Service, many Royal Air Force Musicians re-enter the civilian musical world as either teachers or performers.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Recruit Training

Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) consisting of 4 weekends at your local RAuxAF Squadron, followed by a 15 day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. This training course will prepare you for service life in one of the most respected military forces in the world; it is also designed to help you tune into the military environment and way of life. As well as military training, you will learn about the core values, code of conduct and history of the RAF, as well as its unique lifestyle.

Additional Qualification Opportunities

Musicians who complete the rank related Performance Exams, have the opportunity to gain the following diplomas in music performance: Dip ABRSM, LLCM and LTCL.

Transferable Skills

As a Musician in the RAF Reserves, you will have all the personal development opportunities and career prospects of your RAF Regular counterparts, together with the chance to gain unique experiences whilst working around the world.

Your Future Career Prospects and Progression

You will initially join the RAF Reserves for a period of twelve years. Musicians have the opportunity to be considered for promotion up to the rank of Chief Technician, this is by competitive selection and subject to you obtaining positive annual appraisals.

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

You must perform to a minimum Grade 8 standard as defined by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent (Contact 020 8833 8289 for advice on equivalencies) and have obtained GCSEs at Grade G (Grade 1 to 3 with effect from Aug 17) in English language and Maths; or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 6/Scottish National 4 in English and Mathematics.

Age:

  • 17.5 - 39 (Must attest before 40th Birthday)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

You must perform to a minimum Grade 8 standard as defined by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent (Contact 020 8833 8289 for advice on equivalencies) and have obtained GCSEs at Grade G in English language and Maths; or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 6/Scottish National 4 in English and Mathematics.

Age:

18 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Apply


Full Time
Regular

Spare Time
Reserve