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Recently, one cadet from 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, attended the National Cadet Force Band’s summer tour.
Cadet Sergeant Oldknow’s trip to St Martins Plain Camp in Folkestone saw her as the only Air Cadet on camp. Keep reading to hear her fantastic experience!
The week consisted of multiple workshops and performances to give the Cambridgeshire ACF a taster of what music can bring to the Cadet Force. The workshops started with the band playing three very different pieces of music followed by asking if any Cadets in the audience could already play a musical instrument. Those who could were paired off with someone in their section and learned a musical part. The remainder of Cadets were split into groups where they learnt either the drum or bugle part of Swing March.
Roughly half an hour later, the band and Cadets joined back together to do a mini parade, where we demonstrated what we had learnt. This was great as it showed both the Cadets and Staff what can be achieved with little bit of practice working together.
Drum Major Niall Evans said “It was great to pass on our skills to the Cadets and see them develop over such a short time.”
Along with the workshops, we played in the mess as the Cadets were eating tea, one of the many highlights of that evening was when we started playing the YMCA, as all the audience joined in with the well known song doing all the actions. We also put on various preformances for the Staff to relax and enjoy. Mid-way through the week we visted another county on their annual camp and did a similar thing.
During the week, along with preforming we also did a lot of practising. We practised our marching band skills, putting sequences together with complex minstrel turns. We also had a chance at conducting , and as the only Air Cadet on camp the Staff thought it was only fitting that I should conduct Elegy and the Dambusters.
On the Friday we all went to the Kent Battle of Britain Museum, where again, I proudly conducted and introduced the RAF themed pieces.
Throughout the week we also had time out of playing music, we travelled into Folkeston where we spent the afternoon in the beautiful town, and we also spent an afternoon at the impressive Dover Castle where we enjoyed some spooky underground tours.
To finish off our week of hard work, we were treated to laser quest and a cheeky nandos . This was my second year representing the Cadet Force band on tour, I thoroughly enjoyed it (again) and I am already looking forward to next year!
209 (West Bridgford) Squadron