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Army Cadets Music Altcar

Army Cadet Force Music has grown from strength to strength in recent years. National Concentrations take place twice a year and at these national events, musicians travel from all across the United Kingdom to take part in a week-long camp dedicated not only to music but also to developing their skills as cadets.

They are supported by a fantastic team of adult instructors, many of whom are volunteers.

The Easter 2014 camp took place at Altcar. The cadets present come from a wide variety of backgrounds, have a massive diversity in their reasons for joining the Army Cadet Force and also come from each end of the spectrum of musical capability. The Bands range from beginners to 4* with the most accomplished musicians who have achieved qualifications along the way. Alongside this, there runs a comprehensive programme for Buglers and Corps of Drums. The Corps of Drums were delighted to welcome two regular soldiers from the Coldstream Guards and Irish Guards to assist in their training.

I worked mainly with the 3* and 4* Band and their Instructors helping to develop their musical skills. I was impressed with their commitment, discipline and motivation. Whilst it was extremely rewarding to see the huge distance travelled in the space of a week in a musical sense, I found the cadets themselves inspiring. Music is a valuable gift and working with youngsters who have such enthusiasm made me appreciate that gift so much more. Being a part of the Army Cadet Force clearly develops life skills including confidence, teamwork, self-discipline and independence.

I worked with some of the adult instructors in developing their conducting skills. Again, they came from a diverse musical background and some had never held a baton or read a musical score before. Some admitted that they had been pushed well outside their comfort zone but were justifiably proud of their achievements. image.jpeg

The Band performed a concert together with the Corps of Drums locally which was well attended and received an incredibly enthusiastic response. All the conductors and musicians performed brilliantly and I was genuinely proud of how far they had come in such a short space of time. During the concert, the Band Sergeant Major casually mentioned the final Parade taking place at Altcar Training Camp and to our surprise, most of the audience turned up at the parade the following day. The Parade involved every cadet who had taken part in the training - nearly 500.

Warrant officer Class One (Bandmaster) Sarah Marinescu

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