Hello basically our squadron are going to starting band for a squadron and im interested in doing it but I was wondering you know the person at the front who holds the mace I want to be one of those people and wondering do you need to know how to play an instrument before becoming one of those.
The person that leads the front if a band is a Drum Major. In terms of being one, no you do not necessarily need to play an instrument, it does tend to help, especially if you’ve played in a marching band as it helps when teaching the rest of the band drill, as well as some of the mace conmands. Learning mace drill can be difficult, especially if you’re learning off just the ACP, but find out if your wing has a band and go along to some of their practices, as they’ll have people that are already trained in being a drum major and they’re in the best position to help with teaching you not just mace drill but full band drill as well as in the position of drum major, you have to know and teach full band drill.
There are “band camps” (thoughts of American pie fill my head!!), ask your staff to find when/where there is a camp, I know that the Scottish pipes and drums camp is on over Easter in Inverness. It teaches Drum majors for pipe bands (which is different to normal military/brass bands)it is run by Army Cadets but always has a large amount of Air Cadets, picture below shows the Air Cadet Drum major taking the role of Senior Drum major over all Cadet pipes and Drums
This picture shows some of The combined pipes and drums brought together from regular units including from RAF Odiham, RAF Northolt, RAF Halton, RAF Waddington, RAF Lossiemouth, and also from 2622 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force based at Lossiemouth.
The Drum Major is Louise Muirhead who was an Army Cadet before joining 2622 Squadron RAuxAF