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 the Commonwealth and are permanently based in London where they enjoy a varied and challenging musical career. They can regularly be seen Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace and at many other State Ceremonial occasions across the Nation. In addition, the musicians also have opportunities to perform at a wide range of events including regular performances on BBC, and at events such as the Ashes, the FA Cup Final, Royal Ascot, Tour de France, Wimbledon and the Rugby Union World Cup.
The band have also recently had the pleasure of performing with such artists as Katherine Jenkins, Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey to name a few. They regularly perform abroad, and in recent years have performed at such events as the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland and the International Show Jumping Championship in Canada.
In September 2023 the Band were sad to say goodbye to their Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel Lauren Petritz-Watts, but were extremely proud to announce the arrival of Warrant Officer Class One, Daniel Shave, who was appointed as the Bandmaster and acting Officer Commanding of the Welsh Guards Band.
2023 was a busy year for the Band of the Welsh Guards, full of pomp and pageantry, with the Band playing a pivotal role in the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Broadcast Worldwide to millions of people, Musicians from the Band joined 7000 Service Personnel and 300 Horses in the Coronation Procession, with some members of the Band also featuring on the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, performing alongside celebrities including Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Andrea Bocelli and many others.
In January, the Band completed their final recording session for their new album ‘Majesty’, which was subsequently released on 1st March. The album is ‘A Celebration recording reflecting the rich musical heritage of The Regimental Band of the Welsh Guards’ and features a variety of Welsh Music. Also featured are two of the Band’s Soloists, Lance Sergeant Stephen Shepherd and Colour Sergeant Andrew Mercer, and a composition by the Band’s ex-Director of Music Lieutenant Colonel Craig Hallat. CDs are readily available and can be purchased online here.
In May, the Band of the Welsh Guards performed at a Garden Party held within the Buckingham Palace Gardens on behalf of His Majesty the King. The Band performed a variety of music as guests revelled in the beautiful May sunshine.
June saw the Band Participating in His Majesty The King’s Birthday Parade, the first in over 70 years, and 2023 being a Welsh Guards Troop only made the occasion more memorable for the Band. The Band were honoured to have marches composed by members of the Band featured on the special occasion. Lieutenant Colonel Petritz-Watts became the first ever female Director of Music to have a composition featured on Trooping the Colour, with her composition ‘Welsh Spirit’ being selected as the slow inspection music. Lance Corporal Trott was also honoured to have his march ‘Welsh Diadem’ featured as the music for the quick troop, with Lance Corporal Cook’s march ‘Conwy Castle’ being featured as a travelling march for both the King’s Birthday Parade, and the Coronation.
In November the Band were once again honoured to take part in key events over Remembrance Weekend. Members of the Band took part in the Royal Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, a very moving event which they were all proud to be a part of. On Remembrance Sunday, the Band performed as part of the Massed Bands of the Household Division, playing a key role in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, where His Majesty King Charles III, among many others, paid their respects. As is tradition in the Welsh Guards, the commemorations then continued into the afternoon with the Welsh Guards Black Sunday service and parade, starting with a service in the Guards’ Chapel, and concluding with a march down to Horse Guards Parade where a wreath is laid at the Guards Memorial.
Visit the Band's own website here.
Listen to Welsh Guards Band recordings on the Household Division website here.