Army Cadet Force (ACF) Music is a national body which sets the standards and organises training for ACF musical detachments in UK and British Oversea Territories. These musical units fall into four categories:
– Miltary Bands with a full range of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments
– Corps of Drums with drums, bugles and flutes
– Bugle Platoons
– Pipes & Drums which specialise in bagpipes
Most Counties in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have at least one such detachment.
Twice a year, at Easter and during the October half term, ACF Music organises a Band Concentration, where up to 400 musicians and drummers attend. There are similar events in Inverness and Edinburgh for the pipers.
As a retention tool, the Gibraltar Tour was arranged in 2018 and again this year. Senior cadets are selected from bands and Corps of Drums to come to the Rock. This year, the tour party is made up of cadets and instructors from Derbyshire, Hampshire, Staffordshire and South Wales.
This is an exciting event for many of the youngsters, some of whom have never left UK. This tour is run in partnership with the Band & Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regt – the last two bandmasters have been cadets. In 2018, we were tasked to set up a Corps of Drums in the Gibraltar Army Cadets to give an extra dimension to their training and to produce potential future recruits for the Regimental Corps of Drums.
The six cadets who started in play in 2018, attended the National Music Concentration held at Wathgill, North Yorkshire in April. They are now receiving further training from the senior cadets from Staffordshire Corps of Drums.
Lt Colonel Mike Neville, Commandant ACF Music said, “This tour is a great opportunity for cadets from UK to perform in some of the most iconic sites in Gibraltar. It is also great to work with the local cadets and help to form them into a Corps of Drums. I am grateful to Major Dominic Collado of the Gibraltar Cadet Force and all the other people who have made this event happen.”