Follow Musician Emma Peacock who plays flute and piccolo in The Band and Bugles of The Rifles. She has been in the band for two years, having completing Phase 1 training at ATR Pirbright and Phase 2 at The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall.
All you can eat
After a week off to recover from the “Swift and Bold” concert in The Royal Albert Hall (see my last blog for all the details), we were back on the coach for over eight hours up to Edinburgh. We were visiting 3 Rifles for their Homecoming Parade, Freedom Parade and Medals Parade. The first night we went out to celebrate a promotion and a birthday. It was a very good night! Luckily the next morning was off and we didn’t have anything on until a Medals Parade rehearsal that afternoon. The rehearsal went well, but it was absolutely freezing. This was to be a common reoccurrence while in Edinburgh.
That night we were back in the city, having an all you can eat Chinese buffet and going to a salsa bar. But it couldn’t be a late night as the next day was the Homecoming Parade. This involved a march down a big hill to a local church next to a picturesque river. The brass group played for the church service and then it was time to march back up the hill. That afternoon was another Medals Parade rehearsal. It took hours to warm up after it.
The next day was the big event. It was families’ day for 3 Rifles and the day started with a march down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh city centre, giving the battalion the Freedom of the city. This was then followed by the well-rehearsed Medals Parade back on camp. There was just enough time after the parade for us to get some lunch and experience the atmosphere of the families’ day before we were back on the coach and travelling back down to what felt like the tropical climate of Winchester.
I am part of the Woodwind Quintet and on 15 November we went to play for the RAPTC (Royal Army Physical Training Corps) Officers’ Mess Dinner Night in Aldershot. I was really looking forward to the PTIs doing handstands during their regimental march, as this was what people had promised would happen, but I was disappointed as all they did was sing along!
Saturday 17 November was a big engagement for us as we were playing at Twickenham Stadium for the rugby game between England and Fiji. There were 82000 people in the stands and it was an amazing feeling when they were singing along to us playing the National Anthem, the noise is unbelievable and an amazing experience.
This last week we’ve been in our barracks and Corporal Jessup, our band Physical training instructor, organised a session of battle PT. There was a lot of mud, a little blood, some ripped combats and some very sore bodies the next day.
Musician Hughes is currently doing her BTEC in Music for The Uniformed Public Services and so as part of this she helped oversee a teambuilding afternoon which involved command tasks and activities. This was great fun and had us running all over camp