Cadets

Coronavirus: Army Cadet Force Launches Its First Traditional Band

The band is made up of cadets from across Scotland.

The Army Cadet Force has launched its first traditional music band during the coronavirus lockdown.

Youngsters from the Band of the First Battalion Highlanders have been branching out to perform the traditional folk music of Scotland's Highlands and islands.

It has seen them produce a virtual, socially distanced performance of the Wild Mountain Thyme.

"I really like it, because it’s unique and that makes it really special," said Cadet Anna, Bray Detachment, 1 Highlanders Army Cadet Force.

"It creates a really good experience for everyone who takes part, which is really good because it helps us learn."

The cadets come from the Western Isles all the way to Shetland, where traditional music is a very important part of life.

Lance Corporal Alannah, from the Stornaway Detachment, told Forces News: "Traditional music, in general, is a massive part of culture in Stornaway.

The band have been playing their music remotely over video call (Picture: 1 Highlanders Cadet Force Band).

"I grew up with it and I feel like every child that grows up in Stornaway, grows up with it.

"With things like the Mod [touring festival of Gaelic music and arts] and music lessons in school, it’s really, really important that we keep these things alive."

Band practice has to be done online due to current coronavirus restrictions and the various locations of the musicians also make it tough for them to play together.

Staff Sergeant Alistair Wilson, from 1 Highlanders Army Cadet Force, said: "There is a little difficulty in being able to meet the cadets; it’s all done over the screen and it’s difficult to always read what you're being taught. 

"But they’re all still here after several months and they all do genuinely seem to really enjoy it and get something out of it."