10 members of the Clwyd & Gwynedd Army Cadet Force (ACF) Corps of Drums have recently returned from a special trip to Gibraltar, where they joined select groups from Cadet Force Music for the Cadet Force Bands overseas tour.
The visit formed part of an initiative to encourage local cadets to learn music, an important ceremonial tradition within the cadet and armed forces.
Together with cadets from the 1st Battalion Northern Ireland (Irish Guards) and Oxfordshire (The Rifles) ACF, the cadets from Clwyd & Gwynedd helped to train six cadets from Gibraltar to play their instruments.
Cadet Lucy Edwards said: “We were teaching the Gibraltar cadets how to play side drum and bugle, which they took to with an amazing attitude and willingness to learn about how to form their own Corps of Drums.
“The flautists were learning some regimental pieces from Gibraltar as later on in the week we were all accompanied with the regular serving Gibraltar Corps of Drums. As cadets, being given the opportunity to meet with the regular serving musicians and exchange and perform different pieces of music together was an opportunity which rarely ever occurs to young people.”
During the week-long trip, the cadets played at some notable performance venues for his Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar Lieutenant General Edward Davis CB CBE and the Mayor Kaiane Aldorino Lopez. They also performed a concert in St Michael’s Cave, Grand Casemates square and in the chapel at the Mount Alverna home for the elderly.
Their extraordinary performances drew widespread attention from local media with Cadet Damon Chellingworth even being interviewed on Gibraltar television. He said: “I was very proud for the opportunity, it was a fantastic overall experience, and I’m glad I went on the trip 100%.”
The trip was part-funded by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales’ Welsh Reserves and Cadets Fund, which helps to fund a wide range of activities that help cadets to grow through life-changing experiences, gaining new skills and qualifications as they enjoy fun with friends.
Cadet Lucy Edwards said: “Being chosen to become a part of the Gibraltar tour was an extremely honourable and exciting experience for all of the cadets involved.
“It was our first big event outside of the UK, where we were encouraged to learn new pieces of music and teach the cadets of Gibraltar how to form their own Corps of Drums. To be chosen not only to represent Wales, but [also] the UK, is an extreme privilege in which none of us will ever forget. Also given the honour to meet the Mayor of Gibraltar and the Governor was an unforgettable moment for all involved.
“More importantly the friendships [we] formed with the touring cadets and the Gibraltar cadets is unlike no other as we will most definitely stay in touch. Special thank you to our adults who made this tour happen for their continuous hard work. On behalf of all the cadets involved with this 2018 Gibraltar tour, thank you.”
More than 1,200 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers inspire over 4,400 young people in the Cadet Forces to achieve in the classroom and in their future careers. Click here if you’d like to join them.