The Band of the Welsh Guards was formed in 1915 in the same year as the Regiment. Their first instruments were presented by the City of Cardiff, an act that enabled the band to carry out its first King’s Guard Mounting on St. David’s Day in 1916. That very evening the band gave its first concert on the stage of the London Opera House and immediately established a reputation for high musical standards.
The musicians in the band are drawn from all over the United Kingdom and are permanently based in London where they have the opportunity to enjoy a varied and challenging musical career. They can regularly be seen at the world famous ceremony of the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, as well as at the Nation's many other State and Ceremonial occasions. The band has the opportunity to enjoy several diverse performance opportunities and can be seen performing regularly with the Royal Philharmonic and Hallé Orchestras in some of the most spectacular extravaganzas staged in the United Kingdom. Appearances on the BBC's ‘Songs of Praise’ and at prestigious sporting events like the Ashes, the FA Cup Final, Royal Ascot, Tour de France, Wimbledon, and the International Show Jumping Championship at Spruce Meadows Canada have taken the band’s music to a worldwide audience. The band had the honour of performing at the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015, and more recently have had the opportunity to share the stage with celebrities like Katherine Jenkins, Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey.
2019 was another busy but exciting year of State Ceremonial duties, concerts and recruiting events for the band. In July the band wished the Director of Music Major Barringer MBE a fond farewell, as he was promoted and appointed Principal Director of Music, Corps of Army Music (CAMUS). It’s always a pleasure to be on parade alongside 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. Throughout the year the band provided musical support with regular tours of Wales in addition to State Ceremonial events in the capital, most recently for a Guard of Honour at the State Opening of Parliament. In September, the band had the pleasure of representing the Welsh Guards during memorial services for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Halle and Brussels.
In March 2019 the band recorded a charity album with Rebecca Nelson, a classical-crossover singer and reservist in the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, releasing in June 2020. Proceeds will support Help for Heroes and The Kiwi Māia - a charity supporting emergency services personnel in New Zealand. Other highlights included playing at several sporting events, such as The Ashes at Lords, Wales vs England Rugby International at the The Principality Stadium and the FA Cup Final at Wembley.
In September the band welcomed their new Director of Music, Major Stewart Halliday after successfully leading numerous bands throughout his career. The band are eager to embark on their next chapter under new his direction and look forward with great excitement to the summer as the Welsh Guards Troop their Colour.
The band continues to strive for musical excellence under new direction and look forward to a fruitful future, welcoming many new faces as part of initiative to increase the size of The Household Division Bands.