Cadet band shines in Highlands

April 11, 2018

Tri-service cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers from across the UK attended the annual Combined Cadet Forces Piping and Drumming Concentration in Inverness. 

Every year cadets receive expert tuition at the Highland Capital’s Cameron Barracks – the original home of Army piping, with the first Army classes run there by the Piobaireachd Society in 1910.

As well as undergoing training and instruction for Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board qualifications, the massed band of Pipers and Drummers ‘Beat Retreat’ through Dingwall on 6 April.

The town’s first ‘Beating Retreat’ took place in 2006 and has now become an annual fixture in the local calendar.

The event – now celebrating its twelfth anniversary – has gone from strength to strength and the icing on the cake for the cadets is the opportunity to show off their skills with the public showcase in Dingwall.

They massed outside the Royal British Legion where the salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, Mrs Janet Bowen. The cadets then entertained the public with a retreat programme.

On the following evening a hard week of training and assessment culminated in the massed band performing a concert at the Ironworks music venue in Inverness.

Entitled ‘The Battles O’er’ the concert commemorated the centenary of the end of the First World War. The band’s efforts brought the very appreciative audience to their feet for a standing ovation.

Of significant importance this year was the announcement that Highland Wing’s very own Cadet Sergeant Georgi McMinn (17) from Inverness, and who attends the city’s Air Training Corps at 161 (1st Highland) Squadron, was awarded the prestigious honour of being made the Combined Cadet Forces Senior Drum Major.

This achievement is extremely poignant in the year the Air Training Corps parent organisation the Royal Air Forces celebrates 100 years with RAF100. It is also a historic moment in the history of the Combined Cadet Forces Piping and Drumming massed band, in that Cadet Sergeant McMinn becomes the first ever RAF Air Cadet to be awarded this honour, a quite outstanding achievement. She will lead the band later this year in the Royal Gun Salute on the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle.

This was another highly-successful Concentration for all of the Tri-Service Cadets attending, many attaining significant achievements throughout the week.

Senior Drum Major Cadet Sergeant Georgi McMinn of the ATC leading the band.