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Band of the Irish Guards

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Symphonic Wind Band

Who we are

The Band of the Irish Guards is comprised of musicians from The Royal Corps of Army Music and is one of 14 Regular Army Bands in the British Army. It was formed on 1st April 1900, to commemorate the bravery of the men from Irish Regiments who fought with distinction in the South African campaigns.

The band made its first public appearance the following year and quickly gained a reputation for musical excellence, as evidenced by the glowing press reports in 1905 covering the first of many tours of Canada. The citizens of Toronto were so impressed with the band’s performance that they presented it with an ornate silver cup; one of its cherished possessions still to this day. 

Based in Central London, its main tasks include Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and performing for The Queen’s Birthday Parade.

Recent Years

Over the past 10 years the band has travelled extensively, from their coast-to-coast tour of North America in 2010, to Canada in 2013 and Denmark in 2017. Quintets from the band have also provided musical support in Pakistan, Israel and Cyprus.

In addition, the band has performed at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, both in Edinburgh, and Sydney, Australia.

Want to join us?

The Royal Corps of Army Music can offer full time employment as a musician within the British Army. A pensionable career potentially to the age of 60. Fantastic travel opportunities with the chance to perform at great venues and events around the world.

The Royal Corps of Army Music is interested in your performance and potential rather than just music qualifications. 

Not all musicians have recognised musical qualifications so you may be able to join us based on merit at audition. If you have the required skills or can demonstrate you have the potential we are looking for, we can help maximise your musical development. Interested? Please get in touch here.

Musician Spotlight

I'm privileged to be a part of an organisation with such a rich history Musn Smith

Musician Smith - Percussion

Musician Eben Smith started percussion lessons in 1987 at a local school in Johannesburg, South Africa. After being accepted to Pro Arte, a performing arts school in Pretoria, he won a concerto competition in 1996 which led to his debut solo performance with the South African National Orchestra. He appeared with the National Orchestra as a soloist on several occasions afterwards such as the Last Night of the Proms and Annual Fireworks Concerts. In 1998 he started working the with the Ballet & Opera Orchestra of Pretoria where he played in productions of Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, Turandot and La Boheme.

In 2001, Musn Smith followed his dream of studying music in the United States of America and was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Here he was fortunate enough to work with visiting conductors such as Louis Lane, David Zinman and Michael Tilson Thomas whilst receiving weekly instruction from the principal percussionists of the Cleveland Orchestra.

After Cleveland, Musn Smith applied to study with a tuned percussion specialist and spent two years at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. During this time, he was introduced to American marching bands which influenced his subsequent decision to apply to the British Army as a percussionist.

He served with the Royal Artillery Band from 2009 - 2013 and was extremely fortunate to visit Basel, Algeria, China and Moscow, to mention only a few highlights.

From 2013 - 2019 he accepted a position as Head of Percussion at the Royal Guard of Oman Military School of Music where he trained young musicians in preparation for ABRSM exams as well as percussion ensemble and marching displays. Upon his return to the United Kingdom, Musn Smith applied to re-join the British Army and proudly serves as a percussionist with the Irish Guards Band.

See him perform here

'Jo's Song'

Recruiting Now

British Army Music is recruiting right now. For more information about joining the British Army as a musician, get in touch with the Corps Engagement Team.

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