NEWS

MAY 19TH 2017

“It really shows that music is a universal language.”

The combined Band of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Army Cadet Force in action at the International Tattoo

The combined Band of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Army Cadet Force in action at the International Tattoo

Members of Derbyshire and Lincolnshire ACF tell us about heading overseas to play music.

“I have really enjoyed playing music with bands from all over Europe. It really shows that music is a universal language.”

That’s how Cadet Sergeant Charlotte Towers describes being a part of the combined Band of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) that plated the prestigious 2017 VE Day International Tattoo in Belgium over the weekend of 5-7 May.

It’s the 15th year that the event has been run in the city of Roeselare after being started by the town’s band’s Drum Major, Dirk Brabant in 1992.

Charlotte Towers playing in Belgium

Charlotte Towers playing in Belgium

He has always looked for new bands to take part and discovered the Lincolnshire and Derbyshire ACF bands on YouTube.

After seeing their talents he was keen to have them involved in this year’s Tattoo, or Taptoe as it’s known locally. His invitation was readily accepted!

Dirk explained: “Roeselare was liberated in September 1944 by the Polish 1st Armoured Division and, for the 15th time, we celebrate that part of our history with this very popular musical event.

“In recent times, the occasion has had a strong British military flavour, hence our invitation to the ACF.”

Local musicians were joined by Da Capo Lisse from the Netherlands, The Medina Marching Band from the Isle of Wight and the combined ACF bands of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, to provide over four hours of entertainment to hundreds of people in the city’s main square and surrounding streets.

Lieutenant Peter Ward, the Director of Music with Derbyshire ACF Band, said: “It was a pleasure to take such an enthusiastic and talented group of young people and adults to take part in this prestigious event.

“The cadets were very professional in their approach to the whole event. Rehearsals ran smoothly considering we had not chance to practice as a full band until the Friday night before when we had a run through the marching display without music.

“I think everyone enjoyed the march through Roeselare with the other bands. The actual performance on Saturday afternoon was really polished and everyone made my job as Director of Music very easy.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in organising and carrying out what was a superb weekend with good company.”

It was a memorable event for all of those from the East Midlands.

Cadet Sergeant James Loveday, of Lincolnshire ACF Band: said: “The highlight of my trip was when we did the finale as we were able to perform with bands from Europe for this is something we never normally get to experience.

The combined Band of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Army Cadet Force in Belgium

The combined Band of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Army Cadet Force in Belgium

“As we marched through the streets of the town we knew we were representing our country’s Army Cadets and this made me feel very proud.”

Cadet Lance Corporal Kira Roberts, of Lincolnshire ACF Band said: “I have really enjoyed being part of the Tattoo. It provided the opportunity to share the stage with some wonderful players.”

Cadet Corporal Imogen Dunn from Derbyshire ACF band, said: “I loved marching in the streets of Belgium and it was interesting to see how different bands performed.”

Adult volunteer, Sergeant Rachael Howarth of Derbyshire ACF band, said: “It was a fantastic experience spent with friends that are like a second family to me.

“It was also a brilliant opportunity to play with other musicians from the UK and wider. A great weekend was had by all.”

After their performance, cadets and adults attended the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate, Ypres, where every evening buglers honour the memory of WW1 soldiers of the former British Empire and its allies, who died in the Ypres Salient.

Before their journey home, early on Sunday morning, the Last Post was performed by band members at Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery- the site of the 3rd battle for Ypres, better known as Passchendaele.

“As we marched through the streets of the town we knew we were representing our country’s Army Cadets and this made me feel very proud.”