State Ceremonial Musicians
Commanding Officer, Household Division Bands:
Lieutenant Colonel S N Haw MBE
Directors of Music, Household Division Bands:
Band of the Household Cavalry: Major P Collis Smith
Band of the Grenadier Guards: Captain B S Mason
Band of the Coldstream Guards:Â Major P W Norley
Band of the Scots Guards: Major M Aldridge
Band of the Irish Guards: Captain J H F Milne
Band of the Welsh Guards: Major S J Halliday
Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra: Captain S Marinescu
The Bands of the Household Division have a long and prestigious history and have become an iconic part of our national heritage. The Bands of the Footguard Regiments, resplendent in their red tunics and characteristic bearskins each take turn in providing musical support for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St Jamesâ€™s Palace and Windsor Castle. The Band of the Household Cavalry, distinguishable by their helmet and plume, also share in these duties.
Among the grandest displays in the Household Division Bandsâ€™ ceremonial calendar must be those which occur in June. The Trooping of the Colour and the Beating of the Retreat take place on Horse Guards Parade, where the Band of the Household Cavalry performs on horseback, adding even more pomp and pageantry. The colourful Ceremony of the Garter takes place within the walls of Windsor Castle, where the Queen and the Knights of the Garter form a procession to the accompaniment of regal music which adds to the majesty to this special occasion. The Bands participate in numerous other high profile engagements from State Visits and Guards of Honour, to the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Weddings. Other central events include playing at the various Buckingham Palace Garden Parties and for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards Ceremony, as well as appearing at Royal Ascot.
The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry are present at every key state and ceremonial events. They also have a close connection with the City of London, frequently performing fanfares at the Guildhall and Mansion House. The Lord Mayor is the only individual other than royalty for which Household Cavalry musicians and trumpeters perform in their striking gold uniform.
The bands travel extensively and are involved in various festivals and military tattoos from Edinburgh to Basel and beyond. They can also be seen at all the major national and international sporting events whilst The Countess of Wessex String Orchestra performs at the royal palaces for Investitures, state banquets and ceremonies.
A particularly poignant time in the nationâ€™s calendar is the month of November, when musicians perform to Her Majesty The Queen and the Country at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, and at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday. The Bands also support various other commemorative events throughout the year from concerts and marching displays to homecoming parades and medal ceremonies. They help raise money for numerous charities such as the Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiersâ€™ Charity, Help for Heroes and many others.
The Bands provide unflinching support to the Armed Forces. They represent the British Army to an international audience, entertaining the troops and general public alike, and performing to the highest standard in front of hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and across the globe.
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