Roll Call: SA Air Force Band

Programme Notes: CTMT 2013

“The South African Air Force Band was established at the end of World War II by the late Captain Harry Philips. Since the band’s inception, it has played a prominent part in the nation’s military music by entertaining members of the South African Air Force (SAAF), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the public. The Band’s performances include playing at military balls, providing music at teas and cocktail parties, accompanying massed choirs at music festivals, providing music at open air concerts, hosting prestige concerts, and performing background  music at formal dinners and functions.

The core business of the SAAF Band, however, remains the provision of music at ceremonial occasions. This includes state and military parades, memorial services, and the reception of foreign heads of state and government. The band has also been privileged to perform at major national events, such as the unveiling of the new South African Coat of Arms by President Mbeki in  Bloemfontein and the unveiling of the new SANDF Emblem.

Other highlights in the Band’s history include performances at the International Tattoos in South Korea in 2000 and Russia (St Petersburg) in 2008. Members of the band formed part of a combined  SANDF Band at the Virginia Tattoo (Norfolk, USA) in 2008, as well as at the 90th Commemoration of the Delville Wood Memorial in France in 2006. The Band also performed for the British Royal family when they visited South Africa in 1947.

Since the transformation of the SANDF in 1994, the SAAF Band has strived to stay current with the times. The Band continues to perform the good old standard ‘Sousa’ type marches, but has striven to ensure that South African soldiers now march to music that represents our entire rainbow nation. To this end the Senior Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel Matthys Pienaar has played a prominent role by composing a number of ‘Proudly South African’ marches, which military bands in the SANDF and SA Police Services perform regularly. The most popular include “Umbutho Vokumvikelo” (Force of Defence), “Ukhozi” (Eagle) – the official march of the SA Air Force, “Khayelitsha Beat”, “Mamelodi Kwela” and “Tshwane Swing”. Some of this music has been used by a number of bands at each of the previous three Tattoos at Montecasino.” (CTMT 2013)

 

Programme Notes: CTMT 2015

“The South African Air Force Band was established at the end of World War II by the late Captain Harry Philips. Since then, the band has played a prominent role in the nation’s military music by  entertaining members of the South African Air Force (SAAF), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the public. The band’s performances include playing at military balls, providing music at teas and cocktail parties, accompanying massed choirs at music festivals, providing music at open air concerts, hosting prestige concerts, and performing background  music at formal dinners and functions.

The core business of the SAAF Band is to provide music at ceremonial occasions, which includes state and military parades, memorial services, and the reception of foreign heads of state and government. The band has also been privileged to perform at other major national events, such as the unveiling of the new South African Coat of Arms by former President Mbeki in  Bloemfontein and the unveiling of the new SANDF Emblem at the Air Force Gymnasium.

Other highlights in the band’s history include performances at the International Tattoos in South Korea in 2000 and Russia in 2008, at which it performed together with numerous other bands  from different countries around the world. Members of the band formed part of a combined  SANDF Band at the Virginia Tattoo (Norfolk, USA) in 2008, as well as at the 90th Commemoration of the Delville Wood Memorial in France in 2006.

Since the transformation of the SANDF in 1994, the SAAF Band has been striving to stay current with the times. The band continues to perform the good old standard Sousa type marches, while also ensuring that South African soldiers now march to music that represents our entire rainbow nation.

Service in the SAAF Band has served as a firm foundation for the careers of many members, past and present, who have subsequently made a great impact on the local and international music environment.” (CTMT 2015)