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Central Band of the Royal Air Force

Widely regarded as one of the finest military bands in the United Kingdom, The Central Band of the Royal Air Force has earned a worldwide reputation for musical excellence, both on the concert platform and in the recording studio. Music has been integral to the flying element of the Military since 1912, when the Service existed as the Royal Flying Corps. In 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed and by 1920 The Central Band of the Royal Air Force was established. In 1922 it was the first military band to broadcast on BBC radio, and it was also the first military band to make a long-playing record. In 1955, the Band released a recording of what remains the most requested piece in its repertoire, the music by Eric Coates for the film The Dambusters. Since 2010 the Central Band and the RAF Squadronaires Big Band have sold more than 170,000 albums; Reach for the Skies was nominated for the Classic FM Album of the Year at the 2012 Classic Brit Awards. Internationally renowned, the Band was the first outside the USA to receive the John Philip Sousa Citation for Musical Excellence. It has given highly acclaimed concerts with both the British and the World Associations of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles. All members of the Royal Air Force, including the musicians of The Central Band, are required to support British forces on operations overseas. Musicians continue to be deployed in a wide variety of support roles, including ‘force protection’, guarding installations and supporting helicopter and air transportation squadrons.

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