The Band of the Parachute Regiment is the official musical band for the Regiment and attends a variety of formal, commercial and commemorative events.
Highly trained musicians, they are recruited from Bandsmen and women across the Army. After selection, entitled to wear the coveted Airborne Forces Maroon Beret in uniform. On certain occasions, the Regimental Mascot will lead the marching band and the combination makes for a spectacular musical and visual impression.
Their proud presence at special Airborne occasions and commemorative events is much-prized and hugely appreciated by serving personnel, veterans, their families and the general public.
In 2001, the band was posted from its ancestral home of Aldershot to the historic Roman town of Colchester. In September 2006, the band moved into a brand new 'state of the art' rehearsal facility, located in the heart of the newly regenerated Colchester Garrison. This new facility will enable the band to further enhance its reputation for musical excellence.The band maintains a heavy schedule of both military and civilian engagements throughout the United Kingdom and abroad.
Over the years, the Band has visited such diverse locations as the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Qatar, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands and more closer to home, Norway, France and Holland to name but a few. The musicians continue to maintain a secondary role to the Field Army, in support of the Army Medical Services and have undertaken this role when called upon in times of conflict.
As well as a very good marching band and concert band capability the Band has a number of smaller ensembles.
These ensembles include:
- Brass Quintet - Five talented brass players; 2x trumpets, 1x horn, 1x trombone and 1x tuba. performing anything from classical baroque to light jazz, poplar songs and show music
- Fanfare Team - The Sound and vision of a military fanfare team cannot be matched by anything else
- Big Band - Swing and Jazz
The Band cover almost any event including; Dinner Nights, Weddings, Corporate events, Concerts, Marching Displays, State Occasions, Recitals and many others.
The Parachute Regiment was formed in 1942, but did not have any formal musical support until 1947, when 1st and 2nd Battalion Bands were formed in Aldershot.
Bandsmen were recruited from musicians whose Infantry Regiments were placed into suspended animation after the Second World War. A 3rd Battalion band was formed a year later from newly recruited musicians, each being directed by a Warrant Officer Class I – Bandmaster. All three Regimental Bands accompanied their respective Battalions providing musical and medical support wherever they were stationed.
As a result of a Defence Review in 1985, the Battalion Bands were disbanded and reformed to produce two larger Regimental Bands - The Falklands and Pegasus Bands; who collectively supported the three Parachute Battalions and additional Airborne Forces. Further reductions in 1994 culminated in the formation of The Corps of Army Music and consequently the amalgamation of both bands to form The Band of the Parachute Regiment under the command of a commissioned Director of Music.
For more on the Band of the Parachute Regiment you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter@PARA_Band.
Interested in a career as an Army Musician?