A seven-strong team from the Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) visited East Africa to train with their counterparts in the Ugandan People’s Defence Force.
The team, led by The Band of King’s Division, which is based at Weeton Barracks, near Kirkham, was asked to work with the musicians from the UPDF Band as part of the British Army’s ongoing support to the East African nation’s defence needs.
Bandmaster Warrant Officer Class 1 Richard Burton, who was in charge of organising the training mission, said: “The UPDF request for us to offer some training with their band came via our Defence Attaché in Kampala, it is something I’ve never been involved in before.
“We found out what they’d need from us, and then put together a team of musicians capable of tutoring across a variety of instruments.”
The CAMUS musicians passed on marching band skills, concert band training, music theory and instrument care and between them, the seven CAMUS musicians selected, provided training on more than 15 instruments; woodwind, brass and percussion.
Richard said: “These are conventional military band skills, with each band member able to teach a selection of instruments within each discipline; for example our woodwind instructor taught both saxophone and clarinet.
“We had around 42 musicians to teach, of varying standards, and we were so impressed with their appetite to learn and to work – it was remarkable.”
While there the band also worked with two charities, Brass for Africa and M-Lisada, which help orphans and under-privileged young people in the slum area of Katwe, near to Kampala.
Richard said: “It is a life skill that can lift them out of poverty, not simply a hobby.”
Other musicians from Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Prince of Wales’s’ Division and a reservist from the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh were also part of the team.