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History of Band Corps

CORPS OF DRUMS

            The Guyana Defence Force Band Corps was established on December 4th 1967 with the forming of the Corps of Drums which was primarily drum and bugles under the Command of the late Ex Sergeant Fitz Albert Ward. The members were drawn from the Rifle Companies and the then defunct Volunteer Force and this unit accompanied military parades.

STEEL BAND

            The Guyana Defence Force Steel Band was formed during the year 1970 with pan players identified within the Force and posted to the unit. The Steel Band was led by Ex Corporal Archie Mc Allister. The members of both the Steel Band and the Corps of Drums were then trained on second instruments (Bugle, Pan or Drums) and would merge for engagements, which enabled the Corps of Drums to field a large Band for parades and the steel band to meet required strengths for out-door performance and competitions. This created multidimensional instrumentalists who provided the foundation for the future establishment of the Military Band

MILITARY BAND

            In 1972, the late Ex WO1 Randolph Harrison Bennette then Band Master Brebice Junior Band was re-enlisted and posted to the GDF Band Corps to form a military band. He recruited all the members of the Berbice Junior Band along with some members of the Corps of Drums and Steel Band to form the Guyana Defence Force Military Band.

            The arrival in late 1972 of Captain C S Ault as the Director of Music saw the rapid growth of the Band Corps as a complete unit, consequent on nation wide recruitment. This rapid growth created a formidable Military Band, which went on to provide the Force and the civil population with both martial and entertaining music. The unit’s membership climbed to a record strength of one hundred and twenty (120) which included eight (8) females.

FEMALE MEMBERS

            The first female member to join the unit was the late Ex woman Sergeant Rosemary Wood who came to the unit as secretary to the Director of Music and later joined the Military Band as a clarinetist. She was followed by an influx of several female instrumentalists playing brass and woodwind instruments and much later the unit recruited female vocalists to fill vacancies with the emergence the Guyana Defence Force String Band in 1974.

STRING BAND

            The Guyana Defence Force String Band was formed in the year 1974 with four members led by Ex Corporal Andrew Jackson. They were posted to the Band Corps and formed the nucleus of the band which received high acclaim both nationally and internationally. This string band was officially launched in October 1975 as the GDF World -Wind String Band under the management of the Director of Music Captain C S Ault and later Ex Col L London who took over management in1982 and immediately changed the band’s name to the GDF Front-Line Band.
            In 2004, the GDF Front-Line Band was reduced to a one instrument band with three (3) vocalists and is now called the GDF Front-Line One Man Band.