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RAF Halton Area Band
As Halton is no longer an apprentice training station, its members, whilst still amateurs, are drawn from a wider spectrum of service life. In fact, due to the increased number of civilians (civil servants and contractors etc.) that now work on military establishments, the membership of the band now includes ex-service and civilian musicians as well.
The band performs at many different types of function each year, from official parades, air shows and concerts, to church services, formal dinners and receptions. The band is often to be seen during the summer months at bandstands around the country, especially in London and on the south coast. In recent years the band has toured abroad, playing concerts in Norway, France, Germany, Malta and Austria. October 2007 saw the band on a duty tour in Cyprus, playing for an investiture, for the British High Commission in Nicosia and at two service charity concerts.
The present band is drawn from other RAF stations besides Halton. These include Benson, High Wycombe, Northolt, Brize Norton, Bentley Priory and MOD in London. This means that some band members regularly travel more than 30 miles to attend the weekly rehearsals and engagements.
The band was originally formed in the 1920’s as an amateur musical outlet for the RAF apprentices, who learnt their various technical trades at Halton. In those long-gone days, each wing had its own band, who would march the apprentices to various parts of the camp for different lessons, parades etc.