Last weekend over 35 young army cadet musicians between the ages of 12-18 performed at two high profile events from Newcastle to Paris. The Band & Bugles of Durham Army Cadet Force (DACF) is nationally recognised for the standard of performing at military and public events through the UK and Europe. The young musicians have played in Malta, Windsor Castle, Wembley Stadium, Durham Cathedral and Alnwick Castle in the presence Her Majesty the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, and many more over the years and most recently can add Northern Pride and Disneyland Paris to the list.
The Band & Bugles of Durham ACF started their tour this year as part of the Northern Pride parade on Saturday 21st July. The parade had well over 20,000 members of the public taking part, and the Band & Bugles led them through the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne in what can only be described as their most colourful event of the year.
Once the parade ended, the youngsters set off on the long journey to Paris, arriving early Sunday evening at the Chateau Grande Romaine. On the Monday, 23 July, the young musicians had a jam-packed day of performances at the bandstand of the illustrious Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, in front of an international audience, which hugely enjoyed the varied programme of music performed. On Tuesday, the youngsters took to Paris, allowing the cadets to experience the French culture and some sightseeing before returning to the Chateau for a concert for the families and guests.
Wednesday was the main event, in Disneyland Paris, something the band been working towards for months.
The Band & Bugles were privileged to lead the Parade through the resort to the cheers of the crowds. In the sizzling temperatures, reaching 37 degrees, they performed brilliantly and despite the heat the band played on, continuing to entertain the 40,000 plus visitors of Disneyland Paris.
Cadet Lance Corporal James Watson said, “This experience has been amazing; the atmosphere was outstanding. We were nervous and excited at the same time. The crowd’s reaction to our display was fantastic; everyone was clapping and cheering the band as we marched in the sweltering heat. What 15 year old can say they have led a parade through Disneyland doing something as a hobby? Thank you for the experience and the chance to experience French culture”.
Major Colin Miller, Director of Music Durham ACF Band & Bugles said, “We returned to the UK after what can only be described as a fantastic week of performances where the Band and Bugles brought Durham Army Cadet Force to an international audience, acting in a professional manner at all times, and proving to be great ambassadors for Durham ACF; they are to be commended”.