The Band of the Welsh Guards was formed in 1915 in the same year as the Regiment. Their first instruments were presented by the City of Cardiff, an act that enabled the band to carry out its first King’s Guard Mounting on St David’s Day in 1916. That very evening the band gave its first concert on the stage of the London Opera House and immediately established a reputation for high musical standards.
The musicians in the band are drawn from all over the United Kingdom and are permanently based in London where they have the opportunity to enjoy a varied and challenging musical career. They can regularly be seen at the world famous ceremony of the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, as well as at the Nation's many other State and Ceremonial occasions. The band has the opportunity to enjoy several diverse performance opportunities and can be seen performing regularly with the Royal Philharmonic and Hallé Orchestras in some of the most spectacular extravaganzas staged in the United Kingdom. Appearances on the BBC's ‘Songs of Praise’ and at prestigious sporting events like the Ashes, the FA Cup Final, Royal Ascot, Tour de France, Wimbledon, and the International Show Jumping Championship at Spruce Meadows Canada have taken the band’s music to a worldwide audience. The band had the honour of performing at the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015, and more recently have had the opportunity to share the stage with celebrities like Katherine Jenkins, Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey.
2021 began with the arrival of another lockdown, which saw most of the band continuing to work from home. Small scale rehearsals and master classes were held virtually, to continue the band’s strive for musical excellence.
During this time, several of our musicians were deployed on OP RESCRIPT. Lance Corporals Adam Hirst and Matt Howard were assigned to Horseguards in a G4 role, supporting military key workers deployed in London. Lance Sergeant Maria Lacey and Lance Corporal Emma Dann were deployed to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, as part of a task force assisting Chelsea Pensioners to be regularly tested for Covid-19, to minimise any potential contamination within the hospital.
The band were able to return to work from April, where we recorded a new CD. It was evident that all of the hard work that was carried out in lockdown produced super results in this recording. The band also undertook their annual Major General’s inspection, where all uniform, instruments and marching abilities are highly scrutinised. The Major General was very impressed with the inspection and we were chosen to provide Musical support to The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery during their inspection. The Band provided appropriate inspection music, as well as music for their “Musical Ride”.
The devastating news of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s death shocked the nation, so close to his 100th birthday. Lance Sergeant Maria Lacey and Lance Corporal Liz Libby were chosen to take part in his funeral, as part of the scaled down Massed Band within Windsor Castle. An event which both said was so moving and one they were honoured to be a part of.
Musicians in the Band have recently taken part in the Trooping of the Colour, as part of HM The Queen’s Birthday parade, at Windsor Castle. Although a smaller event physically, the occasion demonstrated the highest standards of drill, discipline and turnout.
Recorded earlier in 2021 at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts and sponsored by the Welsh Guards Charity, the recording features 'Theme and Variations' by Bertram Walton O'Donnell, 'Universal Judgement' by Camille de Nardis, and traditional pieces 'All Through the Night' and 'Land of My Fathers' and is available free of charge to listen to here.
In April 2022 the Band were extremely proud to announce the arrival of the new Director of Music, Major Lauren Petritz-Watts who creates Regimental history by becoming the first ever female Director of Music of the Welsh Guards Band.