National ACF Band & Drums Camp, Altcar

8 May 2012

Cadets from all over the country attended the National Army Cadet Music Camp, held at Altcar Camp, Merseyside during the Easter Holidays. The camp was bulging at the seams as 375 cadets were trained and tested for APC Music Stars - as well as taking part in a shooting competition, archery, sports and swimming.

The cadets were trained in Beginner, 2-Star, 3-Star & 4-Star training squad on their instruments. As part of the 4-Star course for Drum Majors, Bugle Majors & Bandmasters, the cadets organised a concert at the Tithe Barn Residential Home on Wed 4 Apr. The evening began with a wonderful band concert - with 25 musicians led by Sergeant Major Gary George, who runs the Princess of Wales' Regiment TA Band, but gives his time to teach the senior cadet course. The band played several favourites - films tunes, a sing-a-long Dads' Army piece and YMCA - which had the residents dancing along! After a short interval, the Corps of Drums marched in and entertained all present with great marching tunes, including Great Escape, British Grenadiers and Killaloe with an Irish battle cry.

The cadets also performed at the Royal British Legion, Formby and entertained local Altcar residents at a concert and final parade held in the camp. In addition to the entire cadet training, the camp also hosted an Adult Initial Training Course for instructors involved in music units and an adult training Corps of Drums for instructors who are learning to play drum, bugle or flute.

The standard of training was praised by WO2 Colum Keenan, the Senior Drum Major from the Army School of Ceremonial.
And the cadets did not play just military music. The popular "Tex Factor" competition, named after ACF Music Executive Officer Maj Tex Calton, continues to grow and some excellent contemporary music acts; singers, pop groups and even an Irish folk band.

Lt Colonel Mike Neville, National Training Officer said, "I am very pleased that the standard of music continues to rise and this is reflected in an increase in APC Music Star awards. Musical cadets are also completing BTEC Music and taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award."

Colonel Bob Jammes, Colonel Cadet Music said, "This was an excellent camp. Cadets and adult instructors from all over the country worked well together. The new courses for adults involved in music are a big step forward."

The next music camp is at Longmoor 21-28 Oct. Bookings can be made on Westminster.