Over half of all Army Cadets counties now have a Band, Corps of Drums or Pipes, and Drums and cadets are being invited to perform at all kinds of events both at home and abroad. Aside from gaining the technical ability to play an instrument, music improves commitment, discipline, and self-esteem. Music compliments the “green” training undertaken by both cadets and adults.
As the re-establishment of the Clwyd and Gwynedd Corps of Drums continues apace following the difficulties of recent years it was time for members to experience Music Camp this time held in Otterburn.
The cadets were asked “So then what are your thoughts on music camp? “
This is what some of the cadets had to say:
Daniel Williams - “Great fun for my first music camp. I developed greatly throughout the week in terms of my music playing and reading. I enjoyed on the whole making many new friends.”
Andrew Dixon - I loved it so much fun and it was a new experience for me made new friends and learnt new marches on the flute.”
Liv De Almeida, who was awarded the best Senior Cadet in the Beginner Corps of Drums, – “I thought music camp was a very good experience as I was able to make loads of new friends from all over the UK. Overall I had a really good time and I definitely recommend that other cadets join Corp of Drums too”
Herbi Garton – “The camp was amazing, from travelling on the bus there and back to winning the Best Cadet Side Drummer for 2* was brilliant”
Ellen Jones – “It was a lot better than expected I learned to play men of Harlech, I started God bless the Prince of Wales and made many new friends. I really enjoyed the drill and muster parade.”
Ceirion Williams – “The camp was fantastic, making new friends/seeing old friends, getting taught 4 marches and performing in front of the Lord Lieutenant.
Elin Davies – “Camp was an amazing experience made lots of friends and moved from basic to passing my 2* as well.”
A veteran of several music camps Matteo Franco said “It was a really good week with lots of high-quality music happening in all of the star levels. There was an extremely large cohort of cadets on camp but all of Clwyd and Gwynedd maintained high morale and managed to all do very well being the lead tip, senior NCOs, and well-rounded musicians in their cadres. All of the cadets and I were absolutely delighted to get stuck in with camp activities like quizzes and karaoke and represented Wales signing Calon Lan on the muster parade. Overall it was a really wonderful camp that saw everyone become extremely eager for the next, an experience made much better by the delightful weather and food in Otterburn.
Instructor Jess Pugh added, “Very good camp the cadets were very well behaved and worked extremely hard in the star levels also we had the chance to sing Calon Lan in a choir with the rest of the Welsh cadets with the bands playing in front of over 500 cadets and about 200 adults it was a great experience for us all plus the weather was great which gave the cadets a more of a boost.”
The Corps of Drums regularly trains at several locations across North Wales and there are numerous opportunities within the Corps of Drums if you would like to follow in their footsteps.
Whatever your standard or choice of instrument, you are welcome to join, and once you reach a reasonable level, you will be able to take part in your band's busy schedule of engagements both in Britain and abroad.
But it's not just camaraderie and a well-stamped passport that you can gain. By following a structured syllabus, you can now gain the BTEC First Diploma in Music, equivalent to four GCSE at A*-C or four Scottish Standard Grades as well as a number of other qualifications.