Dragoon Guards band set for goodbye

Wearing their striking scarlet tunics and distinctive white-plumed brass helmets the Band of the Dragoon Guards has become a symbol of British military pride.

Wearing their striking scarlet tunics and distinctive white-plumed brass helmets the Band of the Dragoon Guards has become a symbol of British military pride.

So when the band performs its last ever concert it will be an event of splendour tinged with sadness.

Formed in 1994 as an amalgamation of other bands they were the first military band to be based in Norfolk for 50 years, taking Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley, near Dereham as their home.

Now the performers have fallen victim to the Future Army Strategy – Ministry of Defence plans to axe 283 musician posts.

Leigh Sharpe, director of music, said: "This will be a sad and poignant event marking the end of an era. Many of the band members don't know what the future holds. Hopefully as many as possible will be reassigned to new bands.

"But we will be looking to make this a big send off to remember as this is the end of the band in its current form.

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"Former members have been invited to join us and we will mark this in style."

The Dragoon Guards – whose repertoire embraces a wide range of music including popular classics, the Big Band era and humorous features – will formally disband in September.

It comes after more than 10 years during which the bands has toured Pakistan, Cyprus, Austria, New Zealand, Gibraltar and Germany.

The concert will be held at Norwich Cathedral on August 26 and tickets priced between £5 and £10 are available through the Theatre Royal box office on 01603 630000.

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