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London for Ceremonial


The Band of the Household Cavalry

The Household Cavalry Band going down the Mall

The Band of the Household Cavalry was formed in September 2014 by the union of The Band of The Life Guards with The Band of The Blues and Royals; the two mounted bands of the British Army. With over sixty musicians, the band is the largest regular military band in
the UK.

Both red and blue Household Cavalry uniforms are worn on parade however, when Senior Royalty are present, the band and trumpeters wear the distinctive State Dress of gold coats and blue jockey caps. State Dress is the oldest continually worn uniform in the Army; purchased by The Lord Mayor of London for the restoration of King Charles II 1660.

The band is under the command and direction of Major Justin Matthews who enlisted into The Life Guards almost 30 years ago.

The band have released a recording in support of The Household Cavalry Foundation which is available here (

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The Bands of the Guards Division


The Bands of the Guards Division have been synonymous with musical excellence for 330 years and have taken their music around the globe. With their scarlet tunics and bearskin caps, they form one of the great iconic images of Great Britain and a major part of the ‘shop window’ of the nation, standing proud at the forefront of all the great ceremonial occasions which are the envy of the world.

The bands are now based at Wellington Barracks in London and provide the musical support for all major ceremonial events in London and at Windsor, including the Changing the Guard, The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour), Remembrance Sunday, State Visits and the State Opening of Parliament.


The Band of the Grenadier Guards

Grenadier Guards Band Marching Down the Mall

Formed in 1685 by Charles II the Band of the Grenadier Guards has been filling the streets of London with music and colour for over three centuries, a truly historic sound and sight. It is symbolic and emblematic of London and our nation’s history. The Band now in its 333rd year has served 15 monarchs with dedication and pride. It has been present at all the major royal occasions.

2017 was an eventful year, with one of the highlights of performing at Royal Ascot for five days in the sweltering summer heat. This involved bandstand performances throughout the day as well as welcoming Her Majesty for the daily royal procession. The band would end each day with the traditional entertaining ‘Singing Around the Bandstand’.

The Grenadier Guards Band on the Ranges

The band has enjoyed the opportunity to perform a variety of concerts this year supporting various different military charities, playing both varied and challenging programs. Notable pieces included the very moving The Story of Anne Frank composed by O.M Schwarz which featured Bandmaster WO1 Sarah Marinescu on solo violin, Peter Graham’s symphonic scenes of Journey to the Centre of the Universe and Fields of Honour by Thierry Deleruyelle depicting the horror of the battle of Passchendaele.

As ever the band showcases many talented musicians and arrangers. The Scarlet and Gold Concert in December 2017 at Cadogan Hall featured an exciting performance of Bolero arranged by Lance Sergeant Ian Shepherd. Lance Sergeant Shepherd also composed the uplifting opening fanfare for the band reunion, titled Trinity of Heroes.

The band's current director of music is Major Mike Smith.

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The Band of the Coldstream Guards

From the earliest days of the Coldstream Regiment there were drummers and a ‘Band of Music’ from 1742. This consisted of eight civilian musicians who were hired by the month by officers of the Regiment to provide music for the changing of the guard at St. James’ Palace. In 1785 the Duke of York agreed to the formation of a regularly attested band. At this point the band grew to a total of twelve musicians: two oboes, four clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, one trumpet and a serpent. Since then the band has grown significantly in both size and prestige and the last ten years have seen them involved in what is most probably their most intense period of international travel in its entire history. Not only has the band undertaken many duty trips, visiting either of the regiment’s two battalions stationed abroad, but has also gone on a number of private commercial tours, ‘flying the flag’ around the world.

This year, for the most part, has been a year of celebration, particularly as 2017 marked Her Majesty The Queen’s 65th year as Head of the Commonwealth. The band were particularly proud to have worked very closely with the Commonwealth Youth Choir in recording a CD which was presented as a gift to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

As well as their annual St. George’s Day concert at Cadogan Hall, which in 2018 was in aid of the ‘Combat Stress’, the band also undertook a small tour of the north of England which saw them performing in Hull, Leicester, Lincoln and York. This concert series helped raise in excess of £30,000.

The bands current Director of Music is Major Paul Norley

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The Band of the Scots Guards

The Scots Guards were formed in 1642 by King Charles I. In 1716 a small band of “hautbouys” existed, however the precise origins of the Band of the Scots Guards are unknown. By the end of the 19th century, it boasted some forty-four musicians.

During the First and Second World Wars, the band entertained troops in Ypres and the Somme, as well as on the home-front. The band was deployed on active service during the Gulf War in 1990, and in more recent years, a number of current members were awarded medals for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since Beating Retreat 2017, the band ended last year’s summer season with a concert on the Guards Chapel Square, inspired by music from the stage.


Shortly after this, they took to the road for a short concert tour of Wiltshire and Berkshire and,upon returning to London, the Scots Guards Fanfare Team made an appearance at The Olympic Stadium for the World Athletic Championships.

The band recently performed a joint concert with the Hampshire County Youth Wind Ensemble, encouraging the musicians of the future.

The winter season included The Sovereign’s Parade at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the annual Burn’s Night concert in the Guards Chapel. At Twickenham Rugby Stadium they performed the anthems at the England and Wales game for the Six Nations Tournament.

The bands current director of music is Major Ian Johnson.

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The Band of the Irish Guards

The Irish Guards was formed on 1st April 1900 as Queen Victoria’s way of commemorating the bravery shown by the many Irish regiments which fought in the South African wars. Fittingly, the regimental band made its first major public appearance on 12th June 1901 when King Edward VII presented medals from that campaign on Horse Guards Parade.

In July 2017, following the busy State and Ceremonial season, the Irish Guards Band visited Denmark providing musical support to the Ringrider Festival, Sønderborg. Other engagements included Platz concerts outside the Sydbank and a performance at the Mayor’s private residence. The tour concluded in a marque when the band entertained over 2000 participants and organisers of the festival.


More recently the band played as part of The Household Division Concert series in the Guards Chapel early in September. Music from the British Isles was portrayed in the first half, including the march Star of Erin by Horabin and the Shamus O’Brien Overture by Stanford. Peter Graham’s Brillante, and Day of the Dragon. The second half featured typical ‘Last Night of the Proms’ music, including Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Rule, Britannia!, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 where the audience were encouraged to join in the celebrations with the waving of union flags.

Last autumn the Band recorded a CD entitled Blue Blume. This CD featured the Pipes and Drums and Corps of Drums of the Irish Guards, and musicians from the Army Reserve.

Most recently whilst keeping the Army in the public eye, the band has undertaken recruiting engagements in Hertfordshire and Birmingham where the Irish Guards ten-piece brass group and woodwind quintet performed for students in colleges and universities.

The bands current Director of Music is Captain Craig Bywater.

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The Band of the Welsh Guards

The Band of the Welsh Guards was formed in 1915 in the same year as the Regiment. Their first instruments were presented by the City of Cardiff, an act that enabled the band to carry out its first King’s Guard Mounting on St. David’s Day in 1916. That very evening the band gave its first concert on the stage of the London Opera House and immediately established a reputation for high musical standards.

Undoubtedly a huge privilege for the band over the last twelve months has been participating in the Passchendaele 100 World War One events in 2017. The band performed for the Menin Gate ceremony, attended by HRH The King of the Belgians, and later for the BBC’s special production from the Cloth Hall in Ypres’ Market Square alongside musicians from the RAF, Royal Marines, the National Youth choir of Scotland and international performers including Dame Helen Mirren and Alfie Boe.

Welsh Guards Band sailing in the Solent

A third event at Tyne Cot Cemetery was a moving experience as the band honoured all those who lost their lives in Flanders.

2018 has proved as busy as ever, with school workshops, recruiting events and concerts in Kingston, Brecon and Carmarthen. Members of the Band also supported the Rorke’s Drift concert alongside musicians from the Army Cadet Force. The arrival of blizzards put an early end to a week of celebrations for their St David’s events in Wales, however, the Band were back in the Guards Chapel in London a few days later for their St David’s Concert, featuring Rebecca Nelson of the Royal New Zealand Navy Band.

The band is under their new Director of Music, Major David Barringer MBE.


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The Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra

The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra (CWSO) was created on 1 April 2014 as part of recent changes within the Corps of Army Music.  There has been a long tradition of string playing in the British Army, particularly associated with the orchestra of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, in existence for over 250 years, and proud to have been the first professional orchestra in Britain.  The CWSO can however trace its heritage back to ‘The King’s Musick’ of strings from the time of the Restoration in England which was eventually to form the basis of Queen Victoria’s private band in the nineteenth century.

The CWSO performs a variety of music, ranging from classical to pop, in various settings both in the United Kingdom and abroad.  Engagements are varied, including investitures, ceremonies at royal households, state banquets and dinners, support to army regiments and corps, defence engagement activity, and international short-term training teams. 

The CWSO also provides the principal players for tri-service orchestral events, such as at Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, the Passchendaele centenary at Ypres, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, and the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Their current Director of Music is Major David Hammond.

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Bandmasters and Directors of Music

The early bandmasters were civilians and, later, attested soldiers with the rank of serjeant. They were granted the rank of warrant officer in 1881 and warrant officer class one when the rank was divided into two classes in 1914. It was always the convention to refer to bandmasters as ‘Mister’ rather than WO or WO1.

The first bandmaster to be commissioned was Dan Godfrey, Grenadier Guards, this being a personal award announced as part of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Honours in 1887. In the Foot Guards, personal commissions were later granted to Lieutenant Colonel John Mackenzie Rogan and Captain Albert Williams, and on 6th June 1914 the term ‘Director of Music’ was introduced to distinguish those holding commissioned rank from warrant officers. The appointments were established for commissioned officer rank on 1st March 1919 when the remaining bandmasters were promoted to Lieutenant as Directors of Music.

Mr. Charles Godfrey

Lieutenant Daniel Godfrey, MVO

Mr. Henry Dunkerton

Captain John Mackenzie Rogan, CVO, RVM

Coldstream Guards

Grenadier Guards

Scots Guards

Coldstream Guards





Senior Directors of Music:

Lieutenant Colonel John Mackenzie Rogan, CVO, RVM

Captain Albert Williams, MVO

Captain Frederick Wood, MVO

Major Andrew Harris, MVO

Lieutenant Colonel George Miller, MVO, MBE

Major Causley Windram

Major Thomas Chandler, MVO

Major George Willcocks, MVO, MBE

Lieutenant Colonel Sam Rhodes, MVO, MBE

Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Harris, OBE

Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Pope, OBE

Lieutenant Colonel ‘Jiggs’ Jaeger, OBE

Major* Rodney Bashford, OBE

Major James Howe, MBE

Major Gerald Horabin

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Ridings, OBE

Lieutenant Colonel Derek Kimberley, MBE

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Lane

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Hannam, MBE, BEM

Lieutenant Colonel David Price, OBE

Lieutenant Colonel Philip Hills

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Chatburn

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Owen

Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones, MBE

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Barnwell

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hopla

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Roberts

Lieutenant Colonel Darren Wolfendale


Coldstream Guards

Grenadier Guards

Scots Guards

Welsh Guards

Grenadier Guards

Coldstream Guards

Welsh Guards

Irish Guards

Scots Guards

Grenadier Guards

Coldstream Guards

Irish Guards

Grenadier Guards

Scots Guards

Irish Guards

Coldstream Guards

Grenadier Guards

Irish Guards

Welsh Guards

Scots Guards

Grenadier Guards

Irish Guards

Scots Guards

Coldstream Guards

Welsh Guards

Irish Guards

Welsh Guards

Irish Guards





























2017 -

*subsequently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.    


Senior Drum Majors

 The Senior Drum Majors for the Queen's Birthday Parades as shown in the official programmes:

Drum Major L. Mayhew, BEM                     

Grenadier Guards  


Drum Major P. Kirk

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major R.H. Trussler

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major W. Felkin

1st Bn. Welsh Guards       


Drum Major R.H. Trussler

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major M. Wiggan

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major K. Green

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major I. Waterston

Scots Guards


Drum Major P. Foss

Scots Guards


Drum Major C.P. Deane, BEM

Irish Guards


Drum Major R. Davis

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major S.P. Ward

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major S. Jackson

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major R. Sargeant, BEM

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major S. Boyd

Irish Guards


Drum Major C. Ayling

Irish Guards


Drum Major A. Gray

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major D. Colbert

Scots Guards


Drum Major A. Moors

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major B. Roberts

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major M. Betts

Grenadier Guards


Drum Major S. Fitzgerald

Coldstream Guards


Drum Major D. Thomas

Grenadier Guards



To find out more about the bands of the Household Division you can visit their army page by clicking here.

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