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Army bands pass on musical wisdom to youngsters at RAF Cosford open day

Young musicians were treated to a brass masterclass at RAF Cosford where three army bands passed on their expertise.

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A band rehearsal led by he Musical Director from Tredegar Town Band, Ian Porthouse.

A total of 17 people aged 15 to 36 - including pupils from Abraham Darby Academy, Telford - attended the open day hosted by The Band of the Royal Corps of Signals, which is based at the station outside Wolverhampton on the Shropshire border.

Workshops and band rehearsals were delivered by the Royal Signals band as well as The Band of The Prince of Wales’s Division, based in St Athan, South Wales, and The Band of the King’s Division, which has its home at Weeton Barracks, Preston.

Also present was the world-renowned Black Dyke Band and the Musical Director from Tredegar Town Band, Ian Porthouse. Mr Porthouse directed a full band rehearsal with members of the Royal Signals band joined by attendees.

Major Stewart Halliday, Army Regional Director of Music and Director of Music of The Band of The King's Division, said the event informed young musicians on how they can get paid to play music around the world.

He added: "Through music, Army bands play a big part in sustaining and boosting the morale of our troops as well as supporting State ceremonies in the UK and across the globe.”

The event ran from 8.30am until 4.30pm and was open to musicians of grade 5 standard and above. Music exams are graded from 1 to 8, with Grade 1 being the entry level and Grade 8 being the standard required for entry to higher study in a music college.

The Band of the Royal Corps of Signals relocated to RAF Cosford in 2014 having previously spent almost 35 years at Blandford Camp, Dorset.

In the same year it transformed itself from a traditional military wind band to a brass band. Its primary role is to support the Royal Corps of Signals and the wider Army.

It consists of 25 musicians including six musicians from the West Midlands.