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Air Cadet National Concert Band's fundraising concert in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund

Air Cadet National Concert Band

Earlier this month the Air Cadet National Concert Band held a special concert to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Hundreds of people attended the concert at St Clement Danes in London. Plt Off Coralie Young RAFVR tells us more.

The concert was the first time the band had performed in this historic church, which acts not only as a place of worship, but as a living memorial to all those who've died whilst serving in the Royal Air Force.

There were 27 air cadets in the band, with one member supporting from the pews after recovering from hospital treatment.

In the run up to the concert the band attended a week-long camp at RAF Halton where they did lots of intensive practising in preparation for the event.

The highlight of the camp for many was the attendance of Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs, Principle Director of Music for the Royal Air Force, at one of their final rehearsals. Wing Commander Stubbs, who also attended the church concert, praised their performance.

The music the band performed reflected a chronological history of flight – a mixture of classic RAF tunes such as the 'Dambusters March' and 'Aces High' along with swing classics such as 'Come Fly with Me'.

The second half of the concert included music from the movies with the band playing themes such as 'Imperial March' from Star Wars and the theme from Thunderbirds. 

Air Cadet National Concert Band with Darth Vader and StormtroopersThe pieces were interspersed with readings, telling the story of the history of flight from early pioneers such as the Montgolfier brothers and Amy Johnson right through to the jet age and on to space travel.

The audience was also treated to a very different kind of drill display during the 'Imperial March' as a group of Stormtroopers, led by Darth Vader, paraded into the church to entertain the visitors.

The ACO's Principal Director of Music, Wing Commander Gil Singleton said that the band performed marvellously on the night and had really risen to the occasion of playing in such a prestigious venue.

By Plt Off Coralie Young

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