Music and the military have always gone together – and not just because it’s nice to listen to.
Before the advent of modern communications, it once played an important tactical role during battle, with certain tunes denoting particular instructions. Drummers would be used to summon men to fight. And, of course, hearing a rousing or patriotic tune was a great morale booster for troops.
The musical tradition lives on, but these days it’s purpose is purely ceremonial.
We’re enthusiastic supporters of all things musical here at 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron and have our own band.
Music is one of our most popular activities. Not only is it fun, but it’s a fantastic way of socialising, meeting new people, and being seen in the community.
You’ll see our Squadron band leading the likes of the Remembrance Sunday parades in North Tyneside and Whitley Bay, and out and about performing at other special events across the area.
One of the great things about being in a military band like ours is that you don’t have to already be a musician to join. Bass and side drums, cymbals and marching glockenspiels play a prominent part in our Squadron band, and if you have a talent and want to learn, we can teach you to play them.
Trombonists, trumpeters, cornet and bugle players, and saxophonists are also in demand. And there is even an Air Cadet string Quartet.
If you show real talent then your playing could take you to Wing and Regional level, or even the National Marching Band.
The Wing Band has played at many high profile events and venues, including Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, and at the commissioning of the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Every year, there are numerous music camps where you could find yourself sharing the stage with the RAF’s professional bands.
You could even do a BTEC in music and turn your talent into a formal qualification.
So, quick march, forward and join our band!