Last Wednesday we were fortunate to be able to welcome British Army Music Band Sandhurst to Cranleigh. Students learning brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments from both Cranleigh Prep School and Cranleigh School got the exciting opportunity to spend the afternoon working side by side with professional musicians from the Army both in rehearsals and on the march.
They started by rehearsing music from the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack, Todd Salter’s fantastically exciting ‘Rampage’ and Band Sandhurst’s effervescent arrangement of ‘Birdland’ under the expert direction of their Bandmaster. The combined bands totalled nearly sixty players and produced a huge vibrant sound that nearly lifted the Chapel from its foundations! After a short break work moved onto some rousing marches which would be used outside later in the day. With these mastered the band headed out to the hockey pitches and learned the basics of deportment, marching and counter marching under the enthusiastic and full-throated instruction of Band Sandhurst’s Drum Major.
After a remarkably short time the students were formed up with Band Sandhurst and combined with the CCF to produce a spectacular marching display under the floodlights. The opportunity to spend so much time working with professional musicians was hugely valuable but also richly rewarding. The students got a real insight into the life of an Army band and had their music making lifted to an incredibly high level. The enthusiastic way in which the students threw themselves into every activity coupled with the enthusiasm, patience and expertise shown by Band Sandhurst made this an event which will stay long in the memory.