Band 3

Air Cadets music camp

Last year Cadet – now Lance Corporal – Oliver Wales asked permission to leave CCF slightly early for a jazz band rehearsal. His CO at Wilson’s School CCF told him that marching band selection had started, and the then-14-year-old decided to give it a go. 

“To my dismay, only days before the camp I broke my wrist. It happened in a somewhat overambitious judo fight with someone twice my size. I threw badly and he landed on my arm with a worrying crunch. But having broken my arms three times previously, I wasn’t going to let myself miss the fantastic opportunity. I could still wiggle my fingers, and the doctor recommended that I keep using that arm anyway.

“The week was exhausting, with many hours of marching and playing, whilst every spare minute was spent polishing shoes and prepping uniform for the next day. However, it was immensely worthwhile as I learnt loads and got to know some great people, and I feel very proud to be a part of such an amazing group.

“I love the marching band because it is unlike any other band I play in. It requires a huge level of concentration. You must keep track of the music, watching the Drum Major, staying in step, keeping perfect dressings and navigating complex manoeuvres at the same time. Everyone is so accommodating and passionate, despite the clear CCF – ATC rivalry. The music is fantastic and I have been privileged to play at some fantastic venues and events. My personal favourite was playing RAF March Past at the RAF Cranwell Families day, as the Red Arrows flew overhead."

How to join

Air Cadet Organisation music camps are open to ATC and CCF(RAF) cadets. Those who wish to attend must meet the following criteria:

·         Be at least 13 and under 20 at the start of the camp

National concert band candidates must be:

·         A minimum of grade five or equivalent

·         Able to read bass clef, if they play trombone, euphonium or tuba

Marching band candidates must be:

·         A minimum of grade three level or equivalent

·         Able to stand or march for long periods of time

Choir candidates

·         Must include a link or short recording of them singing when they apply

Calling notices will be issued in the Autumn term for camps the following year. The ACO music team also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@aircadetsmusic).