The Air Force Band’s mission is to promote and enhance the image and culture of the Air Force through music and ceremony. The band is a strategic asset that provides the Air Force with a powerful public relations medium. It fosters partnerships with government organisations, industry partners and the community. The band promotes the professionalism of the Air Force and also represents the Air Force and Defence at significant cultural events such as ANZAC Day commemorations in Australia and internationally.
In order to represent the Air Force at a wide variety of events, the band delivers a range of music products, including its ‘flagship’ ceremonial and concert bands, show bands, chamber ensembles, and drum corps.
The Air Force Band defines its culture through commitment to a set of values, crucial to the band’s success: Respect, Excellence, Agility, Dedication, Integrity and Teamwork.
The band is recognised as a world-class military band, with a proud history of service to the Air Force and the Australian community.
The application form can be downloaded from here.
24 January 2014 - Ceremonial Band ADFA Appointment Ceremony: Welcoming this year's ADFA inductees to the ADF
Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne VIC
26 January 2014 - Ceremonial Band, Supporting the Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony
Melbourne Town Hall. Cnr Swanston and Collins Streets, Melbourne VIC
Advance in Review is a bi-monthly newsletter that keeps subscribers in touch with the Air Force Band. It includes the latest news, personnel features, history articles, ex-band members, and the events calendar.
Follow this link to read the latest copy of Advance in Review.
GradDipAppMus, GradDipMgt, MBA, AMusA, LTCL, CAHRI
Commanding Officer / Director of Music - Air Force
Mathew Shelley studied euphonium and trombone in Victoria before enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1991. Prior to his commissioning, Mathew was posted to the RAAF Central Band in Melbourne as a euphonium and trombone player, and served his last three years there as Staff Music Arranger.
Mathew completed Band Officer training in 2001 at the Defence Force School of Music. On graduation he was awarded the Commandant's prize for conducting, and the Australian Band and Orchestra Director's Association award for best arrangement for concert band. In July 2002, Mathew was appointed as the Administration Officer and Deputy Music Director of the Air Command Band in Sydney.
In January 2008, Mathew was posted as Administration Officer and Deputy Music Director of the newly formed Air Force Band in Melbourne. In 2011, Mathew was awarded a Master of Business Administration degree, majoring in Strategic Human Resource Management.
In January 2012, Mathew was promoted to Squadron Leader and appointed Commanding Officer Air Force Band.
The Air Force Band is widely recognized in its ceremonial role. The Ceremonial Band provides musical support for Air Force and Australian Defence Force ceremonial activities, as well as events sponsored by federal, state and local governments.
The band plays a crucial role in celebrating significant Air Force events and achievements, including welcoming new Airmen and their families into the Air Force community at induction course graduation parades, and honouring the service to Australia by our Airmen at commemorations.
The band also represents Air Force on occasions of national celebration and remembrance, at community festivals and street parades. The Air Force Band has represented Australia in cultural events overseas, including ANZAC day commemorations at Gallipoli, and international military tattoos in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Tonga and South Korea.
The Air Force Band’s ceremonial element includes the Drum-Majors, brass and woodwind sections, fanfare team, buglers and drum corps.
The ceremonial band is directed by the Air Force Band’s Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Mathew Shelley.
The Concert Band is the ‘flagship’ musical ensemble of the Air Force Band. It promotes the image of the Air Force and fosters a valuable partnership with the Australian community. Today’s Air Force Band inherits a proud history of high acclaim for the many concert series and public engagements presented around the nation since the establishment of full-time Air Force bands in the 1950s.
The Concert Band's instrumentation falls naturally out of the traditional ceremonial band. It allows for an extensive repertoire that ranges from compositions for wind ensemble and orchestral transcriptions, to music arranged for variety programs.
The Air Force Band presents regular concert series in popular venues around the nation. Programs often feature guest performances by some of Australia's leading artists, as well as the band's own talented musicians.
The Concert Band is directed by the Air Force Band’s Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Mathew Shelley.
The Air Force Big Band is the Air Force’s high profile jazz ensemble. The band’s talented musicians were brought together under the umbrella of the Air Force Band to create a musical powerhouse that is quickly becoming a prominent part of the entertainment landscape.
The band has a strong heritage drawn from "the big band era" of the 1920s to 50s, and continues the tradition of the Air Force big bands that rose in popularity during World War Two. The ensemble’s diverse repertoire includes original compositions and arrangements by band members, traditional big band swing and contemporary jazz.
With its wide appeal and broad reach into the community, the Air Force Big Band promotes the Air Force and its values. The band performs at major community festivals, public events, schools and formal Defence Force functions.
The Air Force Big Band’s musical director is Leading Aircraftman Andrew Hammon.
Formed in 2008, the musicians of the Air Force Wind Quintets bring together a wide variety of chamber music experiences from diverse musical backgrounds. Drawing on this experience the Air Force Wind Quintets are able to create unique and innovative performances combining contemporary and standard repertoire.
Through musical support for official ADF functions, Government and Community events the Air Force Wind Quintets foster the crucial relationship between Air Force and its partners. On the concert platform the wind quintets delight audiences with dynamic chamber music performances.
The Air Force Brass Quintet provides a highly versatile capability for the Air Force Band, delivering ceremonial and commemorative support as well as a most effective public relations medium. Specialising in an adaptive program to meet customer requirements, the group produces music that both delights and inspires – be it heralding the arrival of dignitaries and the playing of stirring hymns and bugle calls, or concerts featuring a diverse range of repertoire, from Renaissance repertoire through to Glenn Miller songs.
The spectacular sound of brass turns any occasion into a most memorable and stirring event and the Air Force Brass Quintet is proof of this, adding a powerful and dynamic dimension to concerts and commemorative services alike.
Formed in 1989, the Air Force Clarinet Quartet draws on the unique qualities of the clarinet to create an innovative ensemble. With the clarinet’s multi-cultural heritage and chameleon-like characteristics ranging from lyrical and haunting warmth, to virtuosic acrobatics, the quartet’s gifted musicians delight concert audiences both young and old.
The mobility of such a small ensemble, together with its diverse repertoire, has allowed the Air Force Clarinet Quartet to represent the Air Force at a wide range of events in Australia and overseas.
The Air Force Clarinet Quartet continues to provide essential support for ADF, Government and Community events, while through public performances maintaining valuable links between the Air Force and the community.
Throughout the history of armed conflict, military drill and discipline have been applied “by beat of drum.” Modern air forces weren’t established until the 20th Century, and by nature did not require a separate corps of drummers for battlefield signals. Instead, the Air Force Drum Corps has evolved from its role within the Air Force Band in support of parade ground drill, ceremonies and commemorations.
The Air Force Drum Corps is a unique and versatile ensemble, ranging from solo snare drum, to a ceremonial display team including Drum-Major, snare drums, bass drum, piccolos and bugler; or as part of the ‘flagship’ ceremonial band.
Through community and youth engagement, the drum corps is proactive in development of the Australian rudimental drumming movement. With its military precision and technically demanding performances, the Air Force Drum Corps proudly reflects the professionalism and teamwork of an elite, highly skilled and motivated Air Force.
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