Military Music Festival at Dockyard – The Royal Gazette


Updated: May 29, 2022 11:15 p.m.

Today, an afternoon of entertainment by the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, reinforced by civilian musicians, brought Heritage Month to a close.

The beat goes on: RBR drummers set the beat during a Heritage Month concert in Dockyard (photo provided)

The audience of several hundred in the Historic Dockyard’s Victualling Yard was captivated by a mix of military melodies, jazz, orchestral performances and pipe and drums.

Music Masters: (L to R) Drummer Sam Webel, RBR Music Director Major Dwight Robinson and Musician Gabriella Ratteray (photograph provided)

Major Dwight Robinson, Regimental Music Director, and the band RBR opened the concert with a selection of classics performed by former musicians of today’s Regiment and veterans.

Massed bands: Major Dwight Robinson, the musical director of the RBR, leads the band and corps of drums and musicians from the String Collective and the Bermuda Youth Orchestra (photo provided)

Musician Gabriella Ratteray, 17, who plays flute and piccolo, is the youngest member of the Band & Corps of Drums and signed up more than two years ago.

She said: “I wasn’t really nervous, but I was surprised to see so many people.”

Musician Ratteray, a student at Sandys Bermuda Institute, added, “It’s important to keep the music going in the regiment, especially the junior program.

“It’s an important part of the RBR – it’s not the regiment without the band.”

Drummer Sam Webel, 18, from Paget, said: “I love being in the band, meeting new people. Not just people my age, but the whole community.

He added: “The turnout for the concert was amazing. It’s a testament to what the regiment stands for and what the band is all about.

The performance was watched by former Sergeant Rodwell Wade, 73, who was a founding member of the band after the Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda Rifles merged in 1965 and served for around 30 years .

Mr Wade, from Pembroke, said: “I thought it was very good to see all the young players and it was really nice to hear that they are trying to attract more young people – the group has always been a very important part of the regiment.”

The concert also featured the Bermuda Youth Orchestra and the String Collective alongside the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band.

Major Robinson said: “It was a fantastic turnout from the audience – I was surprised and delighted. It was a wonderful summer day for the end of Heritage Month and this celebratory concert.

He added, “The Band & Corps of Drums is not just the public face of the regiment, but the element that connects us to our community service role.

“It’s a heartfelt connection – people love to hear the music and they tell the rest of the regiment about this good experience and gives them a sense of good about the organization and its ability to serve our country.”

Marisa Stones, who works for the government, watched the show with her sons Liam, 11, and Seamus, 6.

Family affair: Liam and Seamus Stones (front left and right) with their father, Sergeant Aidan Stones, who plays with the RBR Band & Corps of Drums and is a Pipe Major with the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band, and their mother, Marisa Stones , the veteran dance director for the pipe band (Photograph provided)

But she admitted she might be biased because her husband, Sergeant Aidan Stones, was doing double duty as he wore his regimental cap as a clarinetist and a Scottish Glengarry as the BIPB piper.

Dr Stones, from Sandys, said: ‘It’s great to be out again after the restrictions have been lifted and to have so many people here and it was nice to have the ropes showing the development of youth with the orchestra and with the group RBR.

“It was wonderful. I missed things like the Beating Retreat ceremonies so much and it was great to hear the regimental march at the end. Things are getting back to normal.”

Sergeant Stones, a 26-year-old RBR veteran, added: ‘It was hot, but I enjoyed it. It was a great concert and everything went very well.

He added: “The band is a crucial part of the RBR’s image and it ensures that we carry on the traditions of the regiment and provide a boost of morale and support to the troops.”

Sergeant Rodwell Wade of the retired RBR Band & Corps of Drums at the Heritage Month concert in Dockyard (photo provided)


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