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75th Anniversary concert Gibraltar

Early on the morning of the 3rd October Musicians Goff, Lever and I caught a flight to Gibraltar to assist The Band of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment in their Regiment's 75th anniversary celebrations.

The Regiment is a component Regiment of The Queen’s Division so it was appropriate that we were invited.

We touched down in the Gibraltan sunshine around midday and were met by the Bandmaster - Warrant Officer Class 1 Oliver Jeans who was coordinating the weekend’s engagements. We were taken to our accommodation in Devils Tower Camp at the base of The Rock, which is home to the majority of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

The band had already been hard at work rehearsing the programmes for the following few days, but we managed to join them for the final rehearsal that evening, which consisted mainly of music for the concert on Sunday 5th October. We were however not the only guests. The band was also joined by a number of previous Bandmasters, all of whom are still serving in the Regular Army as Directors of Music, and also retired band members. They all added an invaluable depth of experience both in their conducting and playing.

The rehearsal was followed by a band social where we were able to relax and get to know some of the band members. This social side to the band was apparent throughout the whole time we were there and the trip was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
 
Saturday morning we were to lead a Parade comprising the remainder of the Regiment from Casemates Square in the city centre along Main Street to the Convent. There were large crowds gathered along the streets cheering us on as we made our way through the city, underlining the pride that the local community still has in its Regiment.

Sunday thankfully began slowly following a late night, allowing us a little more time to explore and relax. The evening's concert was to be held at St. Michael’s Cave, a stunning venue in the centre of The Rock itself. The cave has been adapted for concerts through the laying of raised seating and staging, making it a unique concert location.

The concert itself was an amazing experience not only because of the venue and its phenomenal acoustic, but also the fact that it also featured the Regiment's superb Corps of Drums, Pipers and Buglers who added another dimension to the programme.

Musician Heidi Kearsey 

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