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CCF band marches at rugby club covenant signing

Cadets from Oundle School CCF’s Marching Band had the honour of playing at a special match where Northampton Saints showed their commitment to the Armed Forces by signing up to the covenant.

CCF band marches at rugby club covenant signing

8 December 2017

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The band played during the half time interval of the match against Newcastle Falcons at Franklin Gardens. It followed the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant by the Aviva Premiership rugby union team Northampton Saints.

The band, now 48 members strong and under the direction of Band Mistress and Head of Brass, Adele Hudson, Band Captain Juliette Carmichael (17), and Drum Major James Gaby (17), performed a short marching display before halting in the centre of the pitch to play a special arrangement of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ much to the 13,000 strong home crowds delight.

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The marching routine included a new manoeuvre where the band counter marched as two separate divisions before re-forming on the half way line – the product of WO2 Wayne Palmer’s hard work with the band on the preceding Wednesday afternoons.

The evening was another high point in the band’s year, which has included performances at the Menin Gate in Ypres and the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme. It is hoped that they will be invited to perform at Franklin Gardens again next season. Their next performance will be on the day of the Contingent’s Annual Inspection on the School’s parade ground in May.

The Contingent Commander, Major Andrew Mansergh (RM), said: “It is an honour to have been invited to play at this premiership match and the band has worked tremendously hard to reach the standard required to do so; every cadet should be very proud of the performance that they gave."

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The Saints Chief Executive Mark Darbon said that it was important for Saints to continue show their support for the Armed Forces.

“It confirms that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation and that we recognise the enormous value that serving personnel, veterans and military families contribute to our country,” he said.

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John Wilson, the Ministry of Defence’s regional employer engagement director, said: “I am pleased that Northampton Rugby Football Club has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, joining many other sports clubs across the country who have publically pledged their support to the Armed Forces community.

“From their military training, Reservists and Service leavers develop a range of transferable skills and attributes that are valued in the civilian workplace, such as the ability to think on their feet, solve problems and lead a team.

“This is recognised by the club and I look forward to developing our relationship.”