Central Band of the Royal Air Force, Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Festivities.

The acclaimed Central Band of the Royal Air Force musicians’ performance was second to none in the Chichester Festivities concert.

From their very first note they immediately created at atmosphere of excitement with the incomparable quality and versatility of their playing.

In a packed and varied programme, the band was equally brilliant no matter what style of music they were performing. It was obvious why have won the reputation for being one of the top military bands in the United Kingdom since their formation in 1920.

Although undertaking 370 engagements each year, they managed to convey the feeling that their Chichester Cathedral concert was as special to them as it was audience.

The well-chosen programme featured the traditional Royal Air Force favourites and marches together with popular music from the cinema and television.

The Band’s Director of Music Flight Lieutenant Piers Morrell clearly had total empathy with the musicians and equally important his friendly and informal explanations were very much appreciated.

All the pieces chosen were highlights in their own right but for me it was the encore which was beyond compare. The band played Eric Coates’ finest composition from the 1954 film, The Dam busters with freshness and panache.

Graham Hewitt