Band of the Coldstream Guards

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The Band of the Coldstream Guards

The Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards was formed in 1785, when 12 German musicians were enlisted by HRH The Duke of York, then Colonel of the Regiment, and were sent to England to replace the 8 civilian performers who were hired by the month for the purpose of playing The King’s Guard to St. James’s Palace and back. These German musicians became the first to be enlisted in the British Army, making the band the oldest in the Armed Forces. Today the band consists of 48 musicians and a Director of Music.

During its long and distinguished existence, the band has achieved a worldwide reputation for excellence. The band was on duty at morning service when the Guards Chapel in Wellington Barracks, London, was bombed on 18th June 1944. Six members, including the Director of Music, were killed.

Since 1945, the band has performed worldwide including tours to North America, Japan and Australasia and it achieved international acclaim when it played the American National Anthem in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace following the disasters of September 11th, 2001. In July 2005, twelve fanfare trumpeters from the Regimental Band opened Live8 in Hyde Park, London, which was seen around the world by an estimated television audience of five billion people.

The band continues to be at the forefront of music making, last year appointing Peter Graham as its first ever Composer-in-Residence, which post was taken up in September 2005 by Martin Ellerby.

Content Copyright SRC, Design Copyright 2008 Michael Enstone