Air Cadet Drummers from the band of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron found themselves well and truly in the spotlight when they had the honour of opening the program of music at a Beating Retreat ceremony held in aid of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum
The ceremony of Beating Retreat has its origins in the practicalities of early warfare, when the drum was used for all signals on the battlefield. The original call of retreat was beaten by drums alone. The ceremony has been modified over the years and all service bands now perform their own particular style of Beating Retreat which concludes with the Sunset bugle call.
So it was fitting that the young percussionists, from the Nuneaton based Air Cadet Band, started the evenings musical program of Beating Retreat within the grounds of Warwick School by performing their own repertoire of beating signals and marches on drums alone, before they themselves retreated to make way for The Minden Band of The Queen's Division.
The Minden Band, resplendent in their traditional scarlet ceremonial uniforms then marched forward to perform their full version of the Beating Retreat ceremony which included their own renditions of many traditional marches and popular theme tunes. As silence and the evening sun fell over the Warwick School grounds the Minden Band concluded their splendid musical routine by performing the Sunset Ceremony, as the flag of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was lowered.
The Minden Band, named after the 1759 Battle of Minden, is made up of 35 talented musicians with the primary task to support the Regiment's of the Queen's Division. The Band is in much demand with recent tours to: Cyprus , Kosovo , Iraq and Afghanistan . The Minden Band is conducted by Major Bruce Miller, and appeared by kind permission of General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO
The Beating Retreat ceremony, on Wednesday 6th July 2011 was held as a fundraising event in aid of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum.
Following the event, Flight Lieutenant Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said, "I was delighted with the performance of our young musicians, they did extremely well, especially when you consider the fact that this was the first time that many of them had performed in public. Bearing in mind the importance of the Beating Retreat ceremony and the size of the audience, it must have been quite a daunting occasion for many of the younger cadets with little or no experience of performing in public. Everyone I have spoken to since the ceremony has asked me to pass on their thanks for a job well done”.
View More Images of the A Beating Retreat at Warwick School