Air Force Band
The Air Force band is recognised as a world-class military band, with a proud history of service to the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian community.
The band represents the Air Force at a wide variety of events and in a range of compositions, including:
- ceremonial and concert bands;
- show bands;
- chamber ensembles; and
- drum corps.
The band's mission is to enhance the image and culture of the Air Force through music and ceremony. Its appearance at public and private events helps us build relationships with the community, and foster partnerships with government organisations and industry partners.
The band also demonstrates the professionalism of the Air Force, and represents the Air Force and Defence at significant cultural events, such as ANZAC Day commemorations, in Australia and overseas.
To learn more about the Air Force Band, follow us on Facebook, contact us via airforce.band [at] defence.gov.au (subject: Air%20Force%20Band%20inquiry) (email), or subscribe to our newsletter: Advance in Review.
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Air Force Bands
The Air Force band is well-known for its role in ceremonies, supported by the Ceremonial Band which presents at Air Force and Australian Defence Force ceremonial activities and 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.
It represents Air Force on occasions of national celebration and remembrance, at community festivals, and street parades. The Air Force Band has also 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 Ceremonial band includes the Drum-Majors, brass and woodwind sections, trumpeters, buglers and drum corps.
It is directed by the Air Force Band's Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader Mathew Shelley (above).
The Concert Band is the central musical ensemble of the Air Force Band. Since the establishment of full-time Air Force bands in the 1950s, our band has developed a strong reputation for its many concert series and public performances around the nation.
The band promotes the image of the Air Force, while fostering valuable relationships with the Australian community. As a natural extension of the Ceremonial Band, the Concert Band has an extensive repertoire ranging from compositions for wind ensembles and orchestral arrangements, to performances suited to a variety of programs.
The Air Force Band presents regular concert series in popular venues across Australia. 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 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 II. 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 when performing at major community festivals, public events, schools and formal Defence Force functions.
Formed in 2008, the Air Force Wind Quintet musicians create unique and innovative performances by drawing on their variety of chamber music experiences, diverse musical backgrounds, and ability to combine both standard and contemporary styles.
Their attendance at official ADF functions, government, and community events fosters crucial relationships 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 band is highly versatile, delivering both ceremonial and commemorative support, and providing opportunities to engage with the community.
Able to adapt programs to meet customer needs, the group plays music that 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 to Glenn Miller songs.
The spectacular sound of brass turns any occasion into a memorable and stirring event, and the Brass Quintet is proof of this - adding a powerful and dynamic dimension to concerts and commemorative services alike.
The Air Force Jazz Group provides great diversity of musical styles that uphold the highest standards and traditions of ceremonial support and musical entertainment.
With a history dating back to the early 1920s, the Air Force Jazz Group draws on Australia's rich and vibrant jazz culture, bringing together six musicians specifically recruited for their dedication to this art form. Audiences are treated to energetic performances that showcase the musicians' skills in composition and improvisation.
Through performances at cultural events and public festivals, this unique ensemble fosters a valuable bond between Air Force and the wider community. The group also provides musical support for official State and Defence functions.
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 multicultural 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, and 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, and maintain valuable links between the Air Force and the community through public events.
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 corps of drummers for battlefield signals. Instead, the Air Force Drum Corps has evolved from 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 central Ceremonial Band.
Through community and youth engagement, the drum corps actively inspires the Australian traditional 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.