I can’t believe I’m writing this in December when the last issue came out in May. To say it’s been a busy year would be a vast understatement indeed. This year has been packed with events for not only the Marching Division but also the Drum Set Division as well. Below is a bit of a recap from May until December this year.
Coronation of Their Majesties The King and Queen Camilla
The biggest event in any marching calendar this year! These don’t come around very often so it was extra special for BDC as we were heavily involved with making new drums for the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS) which incorporated the new CIIIR King’s Cypher. This also involved creating the emblazoning for snare, tenor and bass drums. The RMBS came to BDC HQ to produce some social media content for their platforms prior to the event. The day itself was seen by over 400 million people worldwide and was proof that nobody does Pomp & Ceremony better than the UK.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Founder’s Day
In May, myself and Keith were invited to the Royal Hospital Chelsea for their Founder’s Day Parade. Founder's Day is the highlight of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s calendar, an event attended by all Chelsea Pensioners, which celebrates the founding of the Royal Hospital by King Charles II. The event is also known as Oak Apple Day due to King Charles II hiding in an oak tree to avoid capture after the battle of Worcester in 1651. Everyone watching or on parade that day is given oak leaves to wear throughout the day. The event was a fantastic spectacle and we’re incredibly honoured that we were invited to attend by our friend and In-Pensioner Billy Knowles who was also the Duty Drummer for the parade
Corps of Drums Royal Logistic Corps
The Corps of Drums from the Royal Logistic Corps recently took ownership of their new drums just in time for the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Logistic Corps relocation to Winchester Garrison.
The event was graced by the presence of the RLC Colonel-in-Chief, HRH The Princess Royal. A service of thanksgiving took place at Winchester Cathedral to conclude a series of civic engagement activities, including a remarkable procession through the city of Winchester to mark the grant of the RLC's freedom of the city.
Drumming For Drinks 2023
The day was a huge success and the new venue BAaD proved extremely popular with regular and new attendees of Drumming For Drinks.
The event was sponsored by BDC and we supplied an AXIAL snare, tenor and bass as prizes for the competition.
Congratulations to Bass Category Winner Kudzai Taruwona from St John's College Zimbabwe and Tenor Category Winner Kali Currie from Royal Burgh of Annan Pipe Band. Also a huge congratulations to the snare category and overall winner Eddy Bathish from Sons of Holyland & District Pipe Band, who now claims the new title of Lord of the Barras!
The event finished and the after-show party began with a performance by BDC Artists the Red-Hot Chilli Pipers to get everyone in the mood for the DJ set that followed. A fantastic day and definitely something I would add into your diary if you’re in that area next August!
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Early this year the eagled eyed viewers of you out there will have noticed a few BDC drums on this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. In particular the Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra performing with their new Axial Series drums. These were bought through Jim Kilpatrick Percussion and were picked up just before the Tattoo rehearsals started. Also, on the Tattoo this year as part of the Tri-Service band was the Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines, this meant we had both the Axial & Regimental Series drums on the esplanade this year.
Royal Air Force Honington
Another band that received Regimental Series drums this year was the RAF Honington Voluntary Band. They chose the RS1G and matching bass drum. The drums were bought through Ammo & Co and were emblazoned by hand with the Royal Air Force Livery using the finest oil colours and both 24ct gold or white gold leaf.
While attending the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, USA, myself and BDC artist Tyler Fry took full advantage of being “close by” to Henderson’s so we decided to put on an in-store Dealer Day (I say close by - it was still a 6 hour drive from Indianapolis!!)
It is always nice to visit our friends at Henderson Imports.
We spent a day filming, interacting with customers and talking about the new Axial finishes for 2024.
BDC Marching Evening
In November I decided to hold a private BDC “Marching Evening” with invites only going out to certain marching organisations. The reason for that was to use this as a pilot and to gauge attendee’s reaction to the structure of the event. I decided that this event would be to mainly promote the Regimental Series. This was also a great opportunity to bring up BDC marching artist Russ Piner. The event which was held at Nicko’s Drum One involved me talking about each snare drum in the RS range. After I’d spoken about each drum, Russ would then demo that drum, playing the same phrase on each drum so the attendees had some comparison between the sounds of each drum.
We finished off with a Q&A session before Russ put on a final display using the RS1 and The Phantom. Afterwards the public were then invited to try out each drum for themselves. The event saw around 70 people turn up - not bad for 7pm on a dark rainy Thursday evening.
The event was a success and something I full intend on repeating around the UK in 2024.
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New Axial Finishes for 2024
Due to the sheer amount of orders the Marching Division has put through this year we’ve decided to make some changes for 2024 to help with lead time. Staying for 2024 are the ash finishes however next year they will be joined by the following; Sterling Silver, Sterling Scarlet, Sterling Marine, Sterling Emerald and Sterling Violet. The option for black hardware has now been discontinued and all drums will come with the Light Moon finish. You can read more about the new finishes here
The Marching Division has lots planned for 2024 and due to the busy work load the Marching Orders blog will now be an in-depth quarterly update with frequent updates or stories going out via emails as and when.
As I bring this article to a close I’d just like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Stay Safe and I’ll see you all in 2024.