Corps of Army Music

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Corps of Army Music
Cap Badge of the Corps of Army Music
Active 1994 to Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
March The Music Maker
Colonel in Chief The Countess of Wessex

The Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) is a Corps of the British Army dedicated to the provision and promotion of military music.


The formation of the Corps of Army Music was triggered by a Defence review known as Options for Change in the early 1990s and followed a 1993 announcement by the Chief of the General Staff that the number of Army bands was to be reduced from 69 to 30. The Queen signed a warrant on 13 August 1994 to allow formation of the Corps of Army Music. This stated that it was Her will and pleasure that all officers who were Directors of Music in the various Corps and Regiments and that all Army musicians should transfer to the Corps of Army Music - now the newest and most junior Corps in the Army - on 1 September 1994.[1]

The home of the Corps was established at Kneller Hall in Twickenham, a site that encompasses the Headquarters the Corps of Army Music and the Royal Military School of Music. The school was founded by the Duke of Cambridge, soon after his appointment as Commander in Chief in 1857, when the first class of military musicians was formed, a 'Class of Music'. The establishment was retitled as The Royal Military School of Music by Queen Victoria in 1887.[1]

The Future Army Structures review of 2006 saw the bands of the Regular Army reduced from 30 to 23.[2]

Bands of the Corps

The bands of the corps are:[3]


The Future of the Corps of Army Music

The Future Army Music 2020 (FAM2020) was published in August 2013. It contained information about how the Corps of Army Music would be restructured and better suited to enable sustainable musical support to be provided to the Army and Defence supporting operations and defence diplomacy.[5]

There will be:[6]

  • 7 Symphonic wind bands supplying marching and traditional music
  • 2 Wind bands supplying marching and traditional music
  • 6 Multi capability bands supplying marching and contemporary music
  • 3 Brass bands supplying marching and traditional music
  • 1 String orchestra
  • 3 Specialist bands supplying modern pop music

These changes will be implemented between 2014 - 2018.

The regiments of the Life Guards and The Blues and Royals will have their bands merged to form a single band of the Household Cavalry.[5]

The five Foot Guards Bands will remain in London, as Symphonic Wind Bands and the Edinburgh-based Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland will grow to the same strength as the Foot Guards Bands.[5]

The 10 man strong Light Cavalry Band will be amalgamated with the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band to form the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps.[5]

A string orchestra, to be known as the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra, will be based in Woolwich and manned with 24 personnel.[7]

Reserve Army Bands

Prior to Options for Change and the formation of the Corps of Army Music most regiments, especially in the infantry, maintained their own military bands. This tradition is now continued by the Reserve Army, who retain regimental and corps bands. Reserve Army Bands are not part of the Corps of Army Music. They are still under the direct command of their parent corps or regiment.

There are currently 20 Reserve Military Bands located across the UK and Gibraltar:[8]

Order of precedence

Preceded by
Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps
Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Corps of Army Music: history". Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  2. "Army's axe to fall on the marching bands". The Telegraph. 12 December 2004. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  3. "Bands of the corps". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  4. FAM 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Changes to the Corps of Army Music". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  6. "Our music - British Army Website". Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  7. "The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra - British Army Website". 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  8. "Reserve Bands". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 

External links