British Army provides music lessons to Ugandan Army

Musicians from Uganda’s army, the Uganda People’s Defence Force, recently benefited from skills training from a division of the British Army. A group of seven musicians from the Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) visited East Africa on the invitation of the UPDF to train with their Ugandan counterparts. It formed part of the British Army’s ongoing support to Uganda’s defence needs.

CAMUS's Corporal Wayne Filer coaching a brass class. Photo:
CAMUS's Corporal Wayne Filer coaching a brass class. Photo:

The visiting musicians, led by The Band of King’s Division, who are based at Weeton Barracks near Singleton in the UK, provided training on more than 15 instruments, which included woodwind, brass and percussion. In addition they passed on marching band skills, concert band training, music theory and instrument care.

The officer who was in charge of the training mission, Bandmaster Warrant Officer Class 1 Richard Burton, told the Blackpool Gazette that the UPDF sent out the request for training via the British Defence Attaché in Kampala. “It is something I have never been involved in before,” said Burton. “We found out what they’d need from us, and then put together a team of musicians capable of tutoring across a variety of instruments.”

According to Burton, each of his band members was able to teach a selection of instruments within each discipline. “We had around 42 musicians to teach, and we were so impressed with their appetite to learn and to work—it was remarkable.”

The CAMUS team also included other musicians from the Royal Regiment of Scotland and The Prince of Wales’s’ Division.

The Corps of Army Music is charged with the provision of military music for the British Army. It has three full time professional brass bands based in the North West, the Midlands and South Wales. In addition to martial music CAMUS also has three contemporary bands that perform modern Rock, Pop and Jazz music.


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