128 Sqn Crest RAF Air Cadets 128 Squadron

Music

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Do you have a flair for music? It plays a popular role in the life of cadets. Our aims are to introduce you to music within the cadets, provide you with musical instruction and the opportunity to play in our bands.

Whilst 128 Squadron does not currently have a marching band, this will not limit your opportunities; especially if you already play an instrument. At the Squadron we could have the potential to form our own ensemble, where a variety of different instruments can form a band, including guitars, drums and others, and if you are a fabulous singer, then vocals can also be performed.

If you show real talent you could take your playing to the next level in Wing or Regional bands or even the National Marching Band which has now been formed. Ultimately, you could join the National Concert Band – where our best players perform at public events often at some very prestigious locations, including Buckingham Palace!

Every year Music Camps are arranged at all levels of the organisation. The first Air Cadet National Concert Band camp of the year usually takes place during the school half-term holiday in February. The Camp is arranged by Air Cadets HQ and takes the form of a week’s work experience with one of the two professional RAF Bands based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire: the Band of the RAF College or the Band of the RAF Regiment. Sharing a stage with the best musicians in the RAF is a priceless experience!

Throughout the remainder of each year further Concert Band camps take place, normally linked to a specific event. In addition, Marching Band camps take place (again linked to specific events) where our best musicians are given the opportunity of demonstrating their skills to the public. The musical year culminates with a competition to find the best solo performers, ensembles and marching bands in the organisation. Competition is fierce for those wanting to prove that they are the best! You can also do a BTEC in Music and turn your fun and talent into a formal qualification.

Instruments

Here are some standard band instruments (but we cater for other instruments too – for instance, there’s also an Air Cadet String Quartet):

Badges

There are a number of badges available to cadets who are either active members of a Squadron (Or higher) band, or who have reached Grade 3 (Practical) on a specific instrument. The criteria for active band members are summarised below:

Brass players:

Percussionist (untuned):

  • Perform (on a snare drum) double stroke roll, triplet, paradiddle, flam and drag
  • Perform General Salute, Sunset and four different 16-beat solos
  • Perform (solo) three marches, as played regularly by the band to which the cadet belongs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of drill and dress regulations for bandsmen
  • Demonstrate correct instrument handling and maintenance

Percussionist (tuned):

  • Perform three of the following scales (ascending and descending): C major (two octaves), Bb major, D major, D harmonic minor, E harmonic minor
  • Perform General Salute, Last Post, Reveille and Sunset
  • Perform (solo) three marches, as played regularly by the band to which the cadet belongs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of drill and dress regulations for bandsmen
  • Demonstrate correct instrument handling and maintenance

Piper:

  • Perform a scale, ascending and descending
  • Perform the following gracenotes: G, D gracenote and strike, E and high A, throw on D. You can do these on a chanter
  • Perform (solo) three marches, as played regularly by the band to which the cadet belongs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of drill and dress regulations for bandsmen
  • Demonstrate correct instrument handling and maintenance

Other instruments:

  • Perform three ascending and descending scales commonly used for the instrument being played
  • Perform General Salute, Last Post, Reveille and Sunset
  • Perform (solo) three marches, as played regularly by the band to which the cadet belongs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of drill and dress regulations for bandsmen
  • Demonstrate correct instrument handling and maintenance

Cadets who have qualified for one of the above badges (Blue) and then go on to play within a Wing band will qualify for the Bronze Badge. Cadets may also qualify for the Bronze Badge they have reached Grade 5 (Practical) or play in a Band graded Bronze level.

Cadets who have qualified for one of the above badges (Blue or Bronze) and then go on to play within a Region band will qualify for the Silver Badge. Cadets may also qualify for the Silver Badge they have reached Grade 8 (Practical) or play in a Band graded Silver level.

Cadets who have qualified for one of the above badges (Blue, Bronze or Silver) and then go on to play within a Corps. band will qualify for the Gold Badge.

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