Follow Musician Emma Peacock who plays flute and piccolo in The Band and Bugles of The Rifles. She has been in the band for a year and a half, having completing Phase 1 training at ATR Pirbright and Phase 2 at The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall.
Returning to the fight
We’ve returned to work after a few weeks leave; on our second day back at work, after some admin and some practice, we were back into the swing of things and getting dressed ready for our first engagement. This was the Army Training Regiment’s boxing night in Winchester. Unfortunately there was an injury so we didn’t get to play. The next day some of the band had fun playing some big band music and then our band PTI, Corporal Jessup, had us out in our boots, doing beet-up training for our upcoming AFT (Annual Fitness Test). The first Friday back we played at a Pass-Off Parade in our home camp. There were five troops for this parade, and a lot of guests.
That weekend a few of us volunteered to help out 7 Rifles TA bands for a charity engagement. General Sir Nick Parker was there to see the two bands work together and he and the rest of the guests seemed to be pleased with the joint effort.
Montacute House Tattoo
Next there were a lot of rehearsals, running up and down hills and some sore muscles! We also did our annual Montacute House Tattoo. The rehearsals went well and then we got to relax for a few hours around the grounds. The Tattoo itself went smoothly and the audience seemed to really like the mass finale, consisting of us, HMS Heron Royal Naval Volunteer Band, Somerset Army Cadet Force Silver Bugles and The Pipes and Drums of The Wessex Highlanders.
Friday was a busy day for us. It started with a very early start to get to The Army Training Regiment, Pirbright for a Pass-Off Parade. There was only one platoon on parade, so the inspecting officer got a chance to talk to everyone, meaning it didn’t go any quicker than usual. After the Pass-Off Parade we waited around for a few hours then got back on the coach and went to Walton-On-Thames to play at an ABF fundraising Sounding Retreat. This was in a retirement village and after the engagement we were invited into the pub to meet the residents.
The following week we had a few days off to make up for the days we missed during our tour of Germany, but once back we were back out running up hills and yet more rehearsing! On the Friday we returned to Pirbright for another Pass-Off Parade. The rehearsal for this was slightly longer than usual, but the long stand was good practice for the troops for the actual parade!
The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
On Sunday we visited The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. This was for a church service. For various reasons we didn’t have breakfast, but after the rehearsal we all bought healthy snacks from the shop….chocolate, crisps and bacon baps. Before the service there was a short march from NewCollege parade square to the church. There was a slightly reduced band for the service as there wasn’t enough space, so I had a little time off, but apparently the service went well and someone was blindfolded and jumped off a table!
The following Thursday we boarded the coach for an overnight stay in Grantham. This was for a TA POP. We had the evening off and a few of the band went into town for a curry and drinks, but it wasn’t a late night as we were up the next morning rehearsing. It was the band minus the bugles so we marched at heavy pace. Despite the rain the parade went well and the troops proudly marched off the square before returning home with their families.