Based in Worthy Down, Winchester, The Band and Bugles of The Rifles consists of regular soldiers from the British Army and the Buglers which accompany the band are front-line infantry soldiers drawn from across The Rifles Battalions.
The Rifles was formed in February 2007 through the merger of four famous regiments: The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets.
The largest infantry Regiment within the British Army, The Rifles is renowned for innovation, excellence on the battlefield and its Riflemen are expected to live up to their motto: Swift and Bold.
The Regiment’s history continues to be manifested today – Rifle green jackets and black buttons stem back to the 17thCentury when Riflemen were the first British soldiers to wear camouflage instead of red tunics. Silver bugles allowed orders to be passed over long distances because Riflemen operated in dispersed teams with individuals selected for their marksmanship, fitness and initiative.
The Band and Bugles of The Rifles’ accelerated pace and ‘double’ march – still used across the Regiment today – reflects a tradition of quick movement and thinking.
A further distinction to The Band and Bugles of The Rifles is the unique ‘back badge’ – Croix de Guerre shoulder flashes and each soldier’s rank being worn only on the right arm – to prevent sight of it being seen when firing a rifle at the enemy.
Out of Africa – John Barry OBE arr. De Meij
Out of Africa by John Barry inspires a more reflective and tranquil mood, allowing the band to showcase their wide variety of colours. This work has been a favourite for the band since its release in the 1990’s, and is performed on Parade and in high-profile concerts.
Sir John Moore – Ian McElligott
Sir John Moore by Ian McElligott was composed specifically for The Band and Bugles of The Rifles and it integrates the band’s unique instrumental element, Bugles. This work achieves this by interspersing bold and commanding bugle calls with a powerful accompaniment. This is all contrasted by a jazz-inspired central section, which adds a verve and energy to the entire work.
Merry-Go-Round – Philip Sparke
The playful and vibrant Merry-Go Round by Philip Sparke is regularly performed by the band. Philip Sparke is one of the most renowned British composers for military bands. And his extensive his extensive output is regularly programmed. Merry-Go Round is a prime example of the uplifting energy and memorable melodies which Philip Sparke’s music provides.