The Army Corps of Musicians (CAMUS) is offering 60 free places for its week-long Summer Academy at the Royal Military School of Music in Twickenham, running 4-10 August.
The academy will give brass, woodwind and percussion players aged 16-24 the opportunity to take part in rehearsals with the band, have one-to-one sessions with its professional players, and take part in sectional rehearsals.
Participants will also visit the Army Training Regiment to find out more about basic training as a soldier, a requirement for all army musicians.
Cameron Lever, a euphonium player from Worksop who attended the Summer Academy last year, said: ‘I really enjoyed meeting like-minded people and it was great to get a taste of life in the army. I am looking forward to getting involved again this year.
‘The chance to play alongside professional musicians with a worldwide reputation was amazing.’
There are 22 regular army bands across the UK, including opportunities for string, wind, brass and percussion players. They include the Corp of Army Music Sinfonietta, one of three bands drawn from musicians across CAMUS, which exists ‘to demonstrate and promote the quality of string performance within the Army’.
Army musicians are encouraged to further their musical careers by gaining diplomas and degrees. They also have the chance to play in a variety of musical ensembles and participate in a wide range of sporting and adventure training activities.
Lance-corporal of horse Jonathon Rockey is a euphonium player in the Band of the Life Guards and will be teaching at the Summer Academy. ‘I joined CAMUS in September 1999,’ he says. ‘The experience, skills and training the army has offered me has been unparalleled.’
The Army is inviting musicians to apply for a career with CAMUS as part of the wider ‘Step Up’ recruitment campaign, which aims to fill 10,000 jobs in the coming year.
It accepts musicians on the basis of audition, with musicians with some higher level qualifications entitled to one of three ‘Golden Hello’ payments after completion of training. For instance, graduates of the RCM, RAM, LCM, Trinity Laban, GSMD and RCS, or with a music degree which has included a significant element of musical performance, are eligible for a £3,500 payment.
Bands are based throughout the UK and include opportunities for string, wind, brass and percussion players.
To find out more about the Summer Academy, go to www.army.mod.uk/academy or call 0208 744 8628.
CAMUS performs a series of concerts throughout July at Kneller Hall, Twickenham, including the British Army Brass Band (featuring trombonist Brett Baker and tuba player Les Neish) and the Army Big Band.