About the Band
BMus(Hons), MMus (RCM), LRSM, MCGI
About the Band
The Farnborough Concert Band of the Royal British Legion is a community band based in Frimley. We perform and entertain audiences raising money for the annual Poppy Appeal and other good causes. The band has 30+ musicians, typically ranging in age between 18 to 80, and play wind, brass and percussion instruments. We play an eclectic mix of music, from Mozart to Morricone, Gershwin to Golden Oldies.
The band support local events such as Armed Forces Day held in Aldershot every June. Also, in keeping with our association with the Royal British Legion, we support the Fleet Remembrance Service on Gurkha Square. In addition, we support the local Freemasons’ annual remembrance event. The Band also plays at other events throughout the year including summer (Mytchett), early autumn (Hartley Wintney) and Christmas (Frimley).
The band is entirely self-funding and receives no financial support from the Royal British Legion or local organisations and our musicians give their services voluntarily. We regularly support other local charities, such as the Poppy Appeal and the Topic of Cancer, a cancer charity based in Guildford and KatCanDo, a Frimley based cancer charity.
Some Highlights from our History…
Armed Forces Day
Tour to Belgium
After 18 months of fund-raising and organisation, the Band left Frimley to visit Belgium on a sunny Friday morning. We travelled by ferry from Dover to Calais and reached our hotel in West Flanders late the same afternoon. Day one of our tour was spent visiting Bruges and, after some sightseeing, we played in the Market Square to an enthusiastic and large audience. Day Two we visited the Tyne Cot War Cemetery to pay our respects to some of the soldiers who lost their lives in this area of Belgium during World War I. We then played a concert outside the Cloth Hall in Ypres, which houses a magnificent museum in memory of all those who died in the Ypres Salient area of Belgium.
The main purpose of the tour was to pay our respects at the Menin Gate. This memorial remembers 54,896 of the soldiers who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 war, whose names are on the Menin Gate and who have no known grave. We were honoured to take part in the Last Post Ceremony and we laid wreaths on behalf of the Band and the Royal British Legion.
Twenty-nine musicians attended this tour, supported by some of their partners and also, representing the Royal British Legion’s Farnborough branch, the Chairman, Steven Gatfield and the Poppy Appeal Organiser, Jacki Gatfield. None of this would have been possible without sponsorship from local authorities, businesses, organisations and community groups.
The Farnborough Concert Band of the Royal British Legion proudly presents their first debut album. And take it literally, because the title of the CD is DEBUT! The debut album covers a wide variety of music including marches, folk songs, well-known music from films and musicals, pop and big band songs.
Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club
First Field Day
The most unusual event the band performs at is an invitation to play in Victoria Park London for the Field Day Music Festival. The band performs on the bandstand in a “village green” setting, with an average audience age of 22 who thoroughly enjoy the music, which is in total contrast to the indie rock music at the event. An NME review of the 2009 festival praised the band as “the hardest working musicians on site”.
First Proms Concert
In 1994, during a band performance at an Aldershot Garrison Mess, the then Garrison Sergeant Major Joe Fairbairn MBE, discussed with the band’s conductor, the possibility of producing a traditional British Proms concert to raise money for the benefit of local charities and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Being based in Aldershot (The Home of the British Army), it naturally transpired that the band started providing musical support to the local Garrison for events such as Regimental Dinner Nights and Church Services. This started to raise the public profile of the band. During the band’s early years, it performed at many prestigious events – for example, providing music for the annual dinner for a City of London Livery Company.
The Farnborough Concert Band of the Royal British Legion was formed in March 1987 by a group of ex-military musicians under the baton of Mr Eddie Brown as the bands first Director of Music. They rehearsed in the Farnborough Royal British Legion Clubhouse on Sunday mornings.