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RAF 100: The Central Band of the Royal Air Force and The United States Air Force Band join forces for a Centennial Celebration

Sunday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Great British Fly-in” Open House

Featuring aircraft, STEM stands, guest speakers, performances from the Central Band of the RAF and drill displays from the Queen’s Colour Squadron.  

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air And Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA, 20151

Monday, April 16, Time TBA

Historic Airplane Flyover

Music will be provided by the The Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

Air Force Memorial, 1 Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA, 22204

Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Royal Air Force Centenary Concert

Featuring The U.S. Air Force Band’s Concert Band and The Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St NW, Washington, DC, 20006

Tickets available on our Eventbrite page

Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 pm

Royal Air Force Centenary Big Band Concert

Featuring The U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note with The Royal Air Force Squadronaires.

The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD, 20852

Tickets available through the Strathmore Box Office

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force

The Central Band of the Royal Air ForceThe Central Band of the Royal Air Force was established in 1920 and since its formation has played an integral and unique role in military life and in the musical world. Now, from its home at Royal Air Force Northolt, the Central Band plays a vital part in State Ceremonial events alongside other Service men and women, as well as performing across the United Kingdom in support of Service charities, and maintaining an international presence at events such as Military Tattoos throughout the world.

The band is the first ensemble outside the United States of America to have been awarded the ‘John Philip Sousa Citation for Musical Excellence’, recognizing its reputation for the highest standards of performance. In 1993, ties with the United States were strengthened further when the band had the honor of receiving a Governor’s Citation in recognition of their ‘impressive commitment to the people of Maryland, seeking to make a productive difference in their lives and cultural experiences’.

Whether from the concert platform, a recording studio, a parade ground, or operational theatres around the globe, musicians ofthe Central Band display the highest standards in their conduct and performance. Whilst building on its heritage, the band continually seeks new challenges in order to demonstrate the excellence which, throughout its illustrious history, has become a renowned trademark of the Royal Air Force.

The United States Air Force Concert Band

The United States Air Force Concert Band is the premier symphonic wind ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is the largest of six musical ensembles that comprise The United States Air Force Band. Featuring 53 active duty Airmen musicians, the Concert Band performs throughout the United States via biannual tours, live radio, television and Internet broadcasts, as well as at local concerts across metropolitan Washington, D.C. Additionally, Concert Band members perform in smaller chamber ensembles at official military and civilian functions, education outreach events and local concert venues.

The Concert Band performs a wide variety of music ranging from classical transcriptions and original works to solo features, light classics, popular favorites and patriotic selections. Remaining true to the Air Force's pioneering spirit, the ensemble is renowned as a champion of new works for band, with dozens of world premieres to its credit. It is in constant demand by many of the world's most highly-respected professional musical organizations, including the American Bandmasters Association, Music Educators National Conference and The Midwest Clinic.

As part of The U.S. Air Force Band, the Concert Band honors those who have served, inspires American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impacts the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States. The excellence demonstrated by these Airmen musicians is a reflection of the excellence displayed by Airmen stationed around the globe. Each member is proud to represent all Airmen, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America.

About The Queen's Colour Squadron

Supporting The Central Band of the Royal Air Force will be The Queen’s Colour Squadron. Manned exclusively by officers and men of the RAF Regiment, the Squadron is charged with the safe-keeping of the Queen's Colour for the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom. The Queen’s Colour Squadron is responsible for representing the Royal Air Force at State and high profile ceremonial occasions; the Squadron is at readiness and regularly delivers Guards of Honour for the Royal Family, as well as visiting royalty, heads of state and dignitaries. Renowned for their continuity drill, the Queen’s Colour Squadron will be performing a bespoke display, accompanied by music from The Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

About The Royal Air Force

The Central Band of the Royal Air ForceOn April 1, 1918, the Royal Air Force (RAF) formed following the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF took its place beside the British Royal Navy and Army as a separate military service with its own ministry; making it the world’s first independent air force. Just 15 years earlier on December 17th, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright had conducted the very first successful flight of a self-propelled, gasoline propeller-driven biplane near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That first flight lasted just 12 seconds. 

 On the day of the Royal Air Force’s creation 15 years later, Bristol F.2B fighters of the 22nd Squadron carried out the first official missions of the RAF. Six months following the creation of the Royal Air Force, and at the end of the Great War, the strength of the Force was nearly 300,000 personnel and 22,000 aircraft. Although the size of the RAF is far smaller today than it was then, the RAF has spent the past 100 years as a pioneer in the world of aviation and has acted as one of the USA's leading allies across the globe.