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The Royal Artillery Band

A Short History of The Royal Artillery Band


Although many regiments had bands of sorts for marching and parade purposes, it was during the Seven Years War (1756-63) that the Officers of the Royal Artillery serving in Germany, felt that they wanted a ‘more musical’ combination to play on social occasions.


Sometime between 1810 and 1815 the famed Royal Artillery Concerts began; they were to become a regular feature of London musical life for well over a century.  It was the dawning of a great musical organization, an Orchestra of unsurpassed ability, even in those days.  It soon grew, to around 40 and in musical excellence during the following decades. 


Under the leadership of Ladislao Zavertal, a then 88-person strong Orchestra attracted audiences and distinguished guests from all over London to winter concerts in Woolwich.  Such was the orchestra’s standard of performance that on several occasions Queen Victoria, who was a very competent musician herself, engaged the Orchestra by Royal Command to play during and after state banquets.  Zavertal was good friends with Anton Dvorak, who visited Woolwich and the Orchestra’s rehearsal room several times to try out his pieces, and it is highly likely that the Royal Artillery Orchestra first played Dvorak’s New World Symphony.  Not content with this, Zavertal sought a yet wider audience, organising a series of concerts in London, at the Albert Hall, the Queen’s Hall and St James’s Hall. 


The Royal Artillery Band has now relocated to Tidworth Garrison as part of the restructuring of Army Music (FAM2020) and is now classed as a Multi Capability Band (MCB).  The members are proud to continue the many musical traditions of over 300 years in the history of British military music and are keen to broaden its appeal through its musical diversity.  From within its number, the band is also able to provide several smaller ensembles including a Pop Group, Jazz Combo, Big Band, Brass & Wind Quintets and Saxophone & Clarinet Quartets. 

Warminster Military Wives Choir

It was formed following the success of ‘The Choir: Military Wives’

television programme in which Gareth Malone arrived at bases in

Plymouth and Chivenor while the UK Forces stationed there were

deployed in Afghanistan. There are now 75 choirs worldwide that

provide a community for the Wives, Mothers and Daughters. Our

ethos ‘Stronger Together’ is shown through the friendships and

support that we show to each other.

Warminster Military Wives Choir has been afforded some great

opportunities. We performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Invictus

Games in 2014. During 2016, as well as supporting our local

community we were fortunate enough to perform with Lulu during

her tour, we sang at the Welsh Proms at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. We

also recorded 2 tracks on our recent Christmas Album, ‘Home For

Christmas’ which reached No2 in the Classical Charts. We are looking

forward to 2017 and especially Armed Forces Day, which we love to

support and are thrilled to have been asked to sing at again.

Rock Choir

Rock Choir was started in Farnham, Surrey in 2005 by musician and singer, Caroline Redman Lusher. Rock Choir pioneered the contemporary choir movement in the UK. It was the first choir to offer the general public the chance to sing pop, rock and chart songs with no entry audition and no requirements to read music or have any previous singing experience. Now, with over 30,000 members, Rock Choir runs all over the UK with local choirs in Trowbridge, Warminster, Chippenham and Frome. Find out more and sign up for a Free Taster Session by going to

Wessex Military Band

The Wessex Military Band started life as a youth band in 1981 in Bridport, Dorset.  In 1990 the British Army invited the band to form as the voluntary band of the Army Air Corps.  The band accepted and recruited experienced musicians from all over the South of England. As part of national defence cuts in 1993 the Army rationalised its regiments and disbanded the volunteer band in order to create a full time regimental band that combined several serving regimental bands. Undeterred by this, the band set out to continue its music making and reformed as the Wessex Military Band. The Ministry of Defence repaid its gratitude to the band by allowing the band to use the then recently decommissioned ‘Wessex’ regiment emblem with its distinctive Wyvern.   The band has continued to flourish under Bandmaster Mr Philip Bond, who was a serving musician in the Devon and Dorset Regiment.  The band and corps of drums perform at over 30 engagements each year across the South West of England as well as at international music festivals all over Europe including Germany and France in 2017 and recently made its third appearance at the Malta Military Tattoo. There is a strong base of members of all ages and abilities, ranging from absolute beginners to ex-military musicians and music professionals.   If you are interested in joining the band or would like us to perform at an event e-mail or see our website for further details.


The band has been in existence and helping young people in the community for around 20 years after breaking away from being a scout band in 1996. 

The band is made up from mostly young children, and young adults who have remained with the band for many years who are now role models for the new younger members. The band takes children from all backgrounds and abilities including children with disabilities. The band provides all the instruments and uniforms the band members need and trains them on how to play the instruments and how to march using drill instructions. 

The band provides young people the opportunity to express themselves, build confidence and self- esteem, learn to play a musical instrument and perform in public in a disciplined yet fun environment. We adopt a positive approach to everything we do within band to enable children to grow and become valuable members of society with high values and goals. 
We are Wimborne town band and perform in the town and local community as well as travelling and performing at carnivals and events throughout Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset. Every year the band visits France and performs in events with other French bands at Saumur in the Loire Valley. Dorset Youth Marching Band Southlands Ave, 16 Corfe Mullen, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 3JB

Our aim is to provide enjoyable music for our listeners and our players.

BJ Big Band was established by Bren Jones in September 2009 and is based in Christian Malford, Wiltshire, consisting of players who have a wealth of experience playing in other musical groups from saxophone ensemble, through miltary bands and rock combos to symphony orchestra.

We are a swing band with Saxes, Trumpets, Trombones and Rhythm section, which is the same formation as Count Basie, Duke Ellington or Glenn Miller, not to mention more recent bands such as the Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, playing a variety of jazz and swing style music in the big band style.

Currently, we have almost a full band, but potential players are always encouraged to contact us as we do sometimes need to cover a part due to holidays, illness, etc. We welcome contact from players who would like to come along and have a go and can then be considered for a permanent position in the band when a vacancy arises. BJ Big Band rehearses on a Tuesday evening. To see current vacancies please look at our vacancies page.

BJ Big Band is available for charity work and special events throughout the area. If you would like to find out if we can play for your event, please see our enquiry form.

Stagecoach Performing Arts

Stagecoach Trowbridge and Frome is a performing arts school for 2-20 year olds and runs classes in singing, dance and drama from both The Clarendon Academy and The Selwood Academy on Saturday's in term time. Principal Freddie Underwood launched the school in 2009 and the schools now have over 200 students. Stagecoach has performed locally and nationally, including at Disneyland Paris (three times) and in the West End of London (six times). To find out more about Stagecoach, visit or like us on Facebook or call 01249 714333.

Infinity dance

Infinity dance was formed in 2012. They train on a Sunday evening from 6 -7 at the Laverton Hall, Westbury. 

The team has grown from approx 10 members to a fantastic team of 30+ ages range from 5 – 16. There is a real family feel to the team with the older members helping the younger ones. 

Infinity incorporate cheerleading into their dance routines to make them unique. The team entertain at fetes and other local events as well as attending approx 8 carnivals with a different theme each year. If you are interested in joining please see kirsty at any event or email kirsty:- uk.

Berkeley Bluebirds

The Berkeley Bluebirds are in their element playing anything from the wartime classics of Vera Lynn through to 1930s and 40s upbeat swinging jazz.
They are regulars at 1940s Vintage Fairs and Events. Their popular vocal and piano duo also frequently visit retirement homes where they lead sing-along sessions of the old classic numbers.

Since starting several years ago they have formed a full swing band - Bluebird Swing - who have built up quite a reputation playing popular 1930s and 40s tunes to accompany all the fantastic dancers they meet at Vintage events."

Wiltshire Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums & Bugles.

The Wiltshire Army cadet force Corps of Drums and Bugles marching band which is made up of children from all walks of life aged 12 to 18 years.The band parades in events like Old Town Festival, Purton and Pewsey Carnival and event like Kentwood Christmas Cracker

The corp recently attended the Altcar Music Camp for a week, where the cadets were taught by, and paraded with, the Army Corps of Music Catterick and the Coldstream Guards. They were issued with full British Army No1 ceremonial uniforms which are valued at about £18,000.

The corp also received a donation last year from the Swindon Lions consisting of the side drums and flute/Bugles.

Apart from musical and marching skills the Cadets are also taught life skills like Emergency First Aid, Countryside code, drill and turnout (ironing their own kit), map and compass work etc., which gives them skills to take them into the adult world.