Rugby's Army Cadets are set to show off their musical talent in front of an audience of thousands at the Ricoh Arena.
A group of music-loving army cadets from Warwickshire & West Midlands Army Cadet Force’s Corps of Drums are preparing for the biggest performance of their lives.
Around 25 teenagers, who are part of the Rugby, Nuneaton, Atherstone and Northfield detachments of the Warwickshire & West Midlands Army Cadet Force, have been invited to perform at the Ricoh Arena in front of thousands of people on Saturday, April 14 when Wasps take on Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership (kick-off 3pm).
The Warwickshire & West Midlands Army Cadet Force’s Corps of Drums will be using their instrumental talents with Bb flutes, piccolos and side drums they will play in the Wasps Fan Village pre-match to play a selection of tunes, before going pitch side to perform a version of the World in Union at pitch side before kick-off.
They will then go pitch side at half time to perform the Great Escape, before returning to the Wasps Nest Fan Village post-match to play a selection of tunes including the Welsh song Men of Harlech.
Shaun Hayward, 27, is the County Drum Major for the group, which rehearses fortnightly on a Monday at the Rugby Army Reserve Centre on Edward Street, Rugby from 6.45pm until 9.30.
He said: “I’ve been a member of the ACF since I was 12-years-old and this is by far the biggest event that the County Corps of Drums will have played in their history.
“Our members put a lot of effort into their music rehearsals but rarely get the chance to show the general public what they can do, so this is a golden opportunity not only for them, but it provides us with a chance to raise our profile and recruit new members too.
“Not many people know, but we can play at events ranging from weddings and parties to carnivals and sports matches, which has potential to help us generate some donations. At the minute the group is self-funded and when a flute costs £120 for example, it is hard work.
A recruitment stand will also be set up in the Wasps Nest Fan Village from 12.30pm until 2.30pm for any young people and adults interested in joining the Army Cadet Force.
The Army Cadet Force is a voluntary youth organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and provides activities for 12 to 18-year-olds that replicates values and standards of the army. This ranges from learning first aid, participating in field craft, and gaining qualifications in public services.
Wasps are supporting the Cadets after dedicating their Aviva Premiership clash with Worcester Warriors to military services, which will also see bucket collections for the club’s charity partner SSAFA, which provides lifelong care to those who have served in the British Armed Forces.
Verity Brown, event and match day marketing manager at Wasps, said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to the armed forces and all of those associated to them, so a military-themed match day is the least we can do.
“Hopefully the day will enable the Cadets to attract some new recruits and extra bookings, while providing additional funds for our charity partner SSAFA who do some life-changing work locally.”
Tickets for Wasps v Worcester Warriors are available from www.wasps.co.uk starting from £22 for adults, while under-10s go free in some areas of the stadium.
For more information about your local Army Cadet Force visit www.armycadets.com/county/warwickshire-and-west-midlands-south-acf