THE RIFLES

Bands

Explore

More than just a marching band

Get paid to play music! Either full time in our Regular band, or part time in one of our Reserve bands.

RIFLES Band Locations-Reg-02.png

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles (Regular)

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles are based at Worthy Down in Hampshire. It is a unique military band that is defined by traditions dating back over 200 years, including the use of the silver bugle and the distinctly fast marching speed of 140 paces per minute.

The musicians within the Band are members of the Royal Corps of Army Music and can be assigned at any point in their career depending on the needs of the band and their own professional aspirations. The Buglers that perform and march in front of the Band are Riflemen drawn from across the Regular Battalions that are trained to play the bugle and march in the traditional Rifle Regiment fashion – including the unique and world famous ‘Double’.

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles perform worldwide and across the UK, often stealing the show because of their unique dress, style and traditions.

RIFLES Band Locations-Salamanca Band-02.png

The Salamanca Band and Bugles of The Rifles (Reserve)

The Salamanca Band & Bugles of the Rifles are based at Wyvern Barracks in Exeter as part of 6 RIFLES. They play a wide variety of music for Concert and Marching Bands on a weekly basis at their rehearsals (every Tuesday 7.30-9.30pm). Their musicians are very versatile and they also form a highly regarded Soul Band, a Function Band, a brass quintet, saxophone quartet and a dixie swing band. They perform primarily across the South West, supporting Army or MOD events and civil engagement activities including Civic Functions, Parades and Charity Concerts.

The Band are non-deployable and most of their musicians have regular civilian jobs and play for the band on a part time basis. With musicians aged between 18 and 65 they are a very diverse, and friendly group. Reserve Musicians complete 1 week of military training and a grade 8 equivalent assessment to become fully trained. Buglers do the same military training as a Reserve Rifleman. Recent Band Tours include Cyprus, Denmark, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Barbados and Canada.

To find out more about The Salamanca Band and Bugles; for information on joining or booking, please contact: [email protected] or 01392 492458.

RIFLES Band Locations-Waterloo Band-02.png

The Waterloo Band and Bugles (Reserve)

The Waterloo Band and Bugles of The Rifles are part of 7 RIFLES and rehearse at Edward Brooks Barracks, Abingdon on Tuesday evenings.

Convening once a week for rehearsals and many weekends for performances, we are an extremely versatile group of musicians who live and work a professional musician’s life. Our people can expect to perform with the Concert Band, Marching Band and a number of smaller ensembles. Being one of the three bands of The Rifles offers opportunities to combine in Big Band, Symphonic Wind Band, Contemporary Rock Bands and Massed Marching Bands.

We perform regularly around the UK and overseas for the military and local community and have performed as far afield as South Korea and Switzerland.

We welcome musicians between the ages of 17 to 50 who are accomplished performers. Opportunities are currently available for Cornet, Keyboard Players and Percussionists/Drummers.

To find out more about The Waterloo Band and Bugles and for information on joining please contact: [email protected] or 01235 548028.

Interested in joining a RIFLES Reserve Band?

Army Reserve musicians are paid to play music to a high standard on a part-time basis, with like-minded people from all walks of life. You will get to meet life-long friends whilst improving your overall musicianship and you’ll gain both civilian and military qualifications on your journey.

All rehearsals and band performances are paid at a daily rate in addition to travel expenses;  You will earn holiday pay and also qualify for a pro rata Army pension. Furthermore, if you meet the conditions, you will be rewarded for your commitment to the Band with a tax-free Training Bounty at the end of each financial year.

Find out more about joining as an Army Musician

How to join a RIFLES Reserve Band

Marching_Band_Azerbaijan.jpg

OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Our bands deliver musical capability around the world enhancing the overall military effects in support of Defence and Government aims. Supporting influence activity and Defence Engagement is a key role for bands whether performing at ambassadorial residences or taking part in overseas large music events. In doing so, they ensure that the UK remains a leader on the world’s stage.

In recent years The Rifles bands have visited South Korea, USA, Basel Tattoo in Switzerland, Bermuda, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, France, Georgia, Armenia and Denmark.

20200109 Ski Championships.jpg

SPORT AND ADVENTURE TRAINING

Being a musician in the Army opens up all kinds of opportunities to take part in sports, adventurous training and battlefield studies.

Our male and female musicians have skied in France, gained sailing qualifications and represented The Rifles and the Army in triathlons and football. All activities are funded by the Army, and as Reservists we are paid whilst taking part.

Buglers

All seven battalions have their own Bugle Platoon. The Bugle is an important part of our identity as a military bands.

Regular Bugler

Buglers are selected from serving infantry soldiers in each battalion. Alongside their bugling responsibilities, their primary role is as Assault Pioneers within their platoons.

Reserve Bugler

Our Buglers perform with the band and on their own as a Bugle Platoon playing traditional calls for mess dinners, weddings and remembrance parades. The Bugle plays an important role within The Rifles as it was traditionally used to give commands to our soldiers in battle. Today our Buglers preserve our heritage in everything they do.

Regimental Music

RIFLES Bugler.jpg

The Bugle has traditionally been used in the past to communicate with, and to direct Riflemen. The Bugle was adopted for use in the eighteenth century as it was light and easy to use unlike the cumbersome drum and carried its note clear for up to three miles whereas a drum signal became indistinct. It was originally an ox Bugle but later made in silver which gave a clearer note. The Bugle is central to The Rifles’ musical traditions, but music has been carried forward from all of our forming regiments. Daily routine in the battalions is marked by Bugle calls, and The Rifles sound, rather than beat, Retreat.

The three Marches are:

  • Quick March  –  Mechanized Infantry – David McBain
  • Slow March  –  Old Salamanca – Chris Willis
  • Regimental Double Marches – Keel Row/Road to the Isles – Traditional

There are standard songs used in The Rifles, these were more prevalent in the forming regiments but still carried forward by The Rifles. These are:

  • Widdecombe Fair (Devonshire & Dorset Light Infantry)
  • Farmer’s Boy (Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry)
  • Blaydon Races (The Light Infantry)
  • Over The Hill and Far Away (Royal Green Jackets)
  • Hearts of Oak (Royal Navy & Royal Marines)

Band and Bugles 2021 Inspection