Band will be ‘beating the retreat’ in Southwold

MILITARY SOUNDS: The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums will be beating the retreat tomorrow evenin

MILITARY SOUNDS: The Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums will be beating the retreat tomorrow evening.picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

An ancient ceremony of military music and marching will take place in Southwold tomorrow evening.

Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums will be 'beating the retreat' on South Green from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, performing the 16th century ceremony traditionally used to signal the retreat of troops at sundown.

The regimental-style band will perform a selection of rousing military music and tunes from popular war films, including the Great Escape, Dambusters, Colonel Bogey, Rule Britannia and the Longest Day.

Its drum major Steve Wright said: 'There will be tunes that come from films and quite a wide range of regimental music related to military events and history. We will perform a set piece of music and lower the flag as a salute and dedication. We also hope to give an impressive visual display with the formations that we do.

'We play at lots of different events but this is the only band performance we organise ourselves all year.'

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The corps of drums made a call for new members earlier this year amid fears the band would fold when three key members retire at the end of 2014 after several years' service. They include Mr Wright, the band's chairman and bass drum player Matt Wade and his wife Jenny, who is its musical director and bell lyre player.

As a result of the recruitment drive, eight new adult and junior members have signed up but more are still needed to safeguard the band's future.

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Mr Wright urged anyone interested in taking part to get in touch and said: 'It gives you a real buzz to perform in front of people and have the skills to be able to play different instruments. It is something we can teach people from the start and no experience is necessary.'

Earlier this month, 16 band members visited Edinburgh to watch the world famous military tattoo, thanks to £7,500 in donations. They were joined by three paying guests on the four-day break.

Mr Wright said: 'We'd like to thank everyone for their kind donations and support which made our Edinburgh military tattoo trip possible.

'It was a truly inspirational trip. We have learned a lot and have some great ideas of things we now want to build into our performances.'

For more information on the corps of drums, or details on joining, ring 07767 460977. You can also follow the band on its Facebook page or on Twitter via @SouthwoldBand.

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