Bermuda has always held close ties with the UK as a member of the Commonwealth. In particular, The Bermuda Regiment is closely linked to the Lincolnshire Regiment and its successor The Royal Anglian Regiment, specifically the 2nd Battalion, who often provide training in various guises.
CAMUS provide Short Term Training teams in direct support of the Army’s core purposes of ‘Contingent capability for deterrence and defence’ and ‘Overseas engagement and capacity building’ as outlined under the current Army 2020 plan.
On the 26th of September after a seven hour flight from London Gatwick, the team touched down at Bermuda airport at 2200 hours local time. We were met by Major Dwight Robinson, Director of Music (DOM) of the Bermuda Regiment and a former resident at Kneller Hall having graduated from the three year Bandmasters course held there in 2003.
After settling in at Warwick Camp and spending a day acclimatising at Bermuda’s famous Horseshoe Bay, the team eagerly awaited the arrival of the Band and Drums members. Indeed, when they arrived, there were a few more familiar faces; Corporal (Cpl) Paul Smith and Lance Corporal (LCpl) Kallan Thomas who had both completed training at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall.
Within hours of the Band starting their annual camp, members of team found themselves on an engagement at the Bermuda Cathedral in Hamilton with the rest of the STTT. The event was to commemorate the start of WW1 and pay respects to the fallen and in particular, fallen Bermudians who had served in both world wars with the British Army.
Throughout the two weeks, the team also took part in the “South Shore Serenade” each day. This involved marching out of the Camp and performing to the morning and evening traffic on one of Bermuda’s busiest roads and, on occasion, marching round the local residential areas in Warwick.
One of the most rewarding engagements we took part in was at Cedarbridge Academy. Here the team helped the Band strengthen its relationship with the Bermuda Youth Orchestra, a source of possible recruits for the Band.
The Band also performed at the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) parade, marching through Hamilton to celebrate the Service’s 135th anniversary and also publicising the upcoming Tattoo performance.
One of the aims of the next couple of weeks for the Band and Drums was to prepare for the (BPS) Tattoo. This was to be an extravaganza involving a massed Bands performance with the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, The Somerset Brigade Band and the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band. Before all this though, the STTT were required to assist in designing a display for the Bermuda Regiment Band.
Our Drum Major took charge of designing a display for the Band and Drums and rehearsals were plentiful and included lessons on band drill, instrument deportment and musical rehearsals on the parade ground. He also put some of the members of the Band and Drums through their paces with some basic Drum Major tuition.
The Band and Drums have traditionally attended the Drum Major course held at The Army School of Ceremonial in Catterick and after Drum Major Smith’s lessons; there were no shortage of volunteers.
Our Bandmaster assisted with rehearsals on the Tattoo music which included challenging pieces for the Band such as the ‘1812’ overture, and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Sir Duke’. In amongst these rehearsals and in between the Band’s military training, the team delivered lessons on music theory and basic musicianship principles.