Septem Juncta In Uno – Seven Joined As One


The band was formed in 1981 and is made up of former musicians from the seven regiments of Her Majesty’s Household Division Bands namely:- The Life Guards, Blues and Royals (now the Household Cavalry Band), Grenadiers, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards Bands. The present Household Division Musicians Association Band follows a long tradition of music making by musicians from these famous regiments.

Most of the members are still playing in leading London Orchestras, London Theatres, or teaching in music colleges and schools throughout the country.

The Band performs at numerous public and private engagements, most notably The Chelsea Flower Show, Eastbourne Bandstand, and at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Band rehearses at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, with which it is proud to be associated.

The band rehearses once a month on a Sunday morning from 10.30am  – 12.30pm at The Band Room at The Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Royal Hospital, Chelsea

Contact form to hire or join us.

Director of Music: David Vaninetti-Smart FLCM

Image result for david vaninetti smart

David began his musical career at the age of 13 as a trombonist for Barnstaple Town Military Band and Bideford Town Brass Band. In 1987, he joined the Army and was posted to the Band of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. During his two years at the Royal Military School of Music, David took a change of course, studying flute and classical piano under Graham Mayger and Veronica Clayton respectively. It was while he was at Kneller Hall that David discovered his passion for writing band arrangements.

After postings to Northern Ireland and Cyprus in the early nineties, David successfully passed an audition for the Life Guards Band of the Household Cavalry. During a series of summer concerts for the Household Cavalry band, David was persuaded by the Director of Music to take yet another musical change: he became the principal oboist of the Band, a position that he held until he left the army in 1998. During his military service he has performed all around the world, playing for all the members of the Royal Family, The Lord Mayor of London, as well as countless Ambassadors and diplomats.

More About The Household Division

Work of the Week – Ilja Reijngoud: Somnambulist

Ilja Reijngoud

(July 5th 1972, Leiden, The Netherlands).

After his cum laude graduation at the Hilversum Conservatory in 1996, Ilja taught the trombone there. In 1997 he was the second Dutch student so far to receive the American Degree ‘Master of Music.’Ilja is permanent member of Nueva Manteca, The Dutch Jazz Orchestra, Gino Vannelli’s Dutch Beat Band, The Houdini’s, The Cubop City Big Band, The Jasper van ‘t Hof Quartet, Lucas van Merwijk Music Machine and many other well-known Dutch groups. He was featured soloist with the Metropole Orchestra for four times.

Ilja worked and recorded with Tom Harrell, Ivan Lins, James Morrison, Jim Beard, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Bill Dobbins, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner, Ed Neumeister, Jimmy Bosch, Vince Mendoza, Lester Bowie, Bill Holman, Dori Caymmi and many others.

In 1998 Ilja and his former teacher Bart van Lier founded an impressive trombone department at the Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts). With classical collegues Alexander Verbeek and Brandt Attema they form the trombone Academy of Codarts, Rotterdam. Besides teaching main subject trombone, Ilja is leader of the conservatory bigband for the last 15 years, ensemble coach and arranging teacher. From 2015 the team of trombone teachers at Corats is completed with the great Bert Boeren and Andy Hunter.

Besides being the principal teacher at Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts), ilja is guest teacher at the Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht Conservatories.

Ilja Reijngoud
Ilja Reijngoud

Visit Ilja Reijngoud’s Official Website

The Simply Stunning Algirdas Matonis – Euphonium Soloist

By Roger Moisan

If one were to brew up the perfect storm as a metaphor for a brass soloist, the recipe would be thus:

  • Phenomenal technique
  • Huge range and endurance
  • Sweetness of tone at all dynamic levels
  • Power and control
  • Intense musicality
  • A stage presence, sense of performance and occasion

Well colleagues, Algirdas Matonis has all of these components and more.

Originally from Lithuania, Algirdas Matonis started playing euphonium at the age of eight. In 2000 he entered his first ever competition which was ‘Juozas Pakalnis Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Solo Competition’ held in Lithuania. At only 9 years old Algirdas managed to win the 8 – 13 age group. This was the beginning of his active participation in various music events.

Algirdas continued to enter and win solo competitions throughout his teenage years. 2009 was his last year as a teen competitor. He was offered to perform as a soloist with the Lithuanian Military Band at the ‘International Band and Orchestra Championships’ held in Lithuania where he received the best solo player award and performed at the prestigious ‘Siemens’ arena in front of over 5000 people at the Gala event.

In 2010 Algirdas Matonis decided that he wanted to pursue the life of a professional euphonium player. He entered the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he studied under the guidance of the legendary euphonium pioneer Steven Mead. In 2014 he got his Bachelor degree and was awarded with entry scholarship for his Master’s degree studies.

During his study years at the RNCM he kept actively performing as a soloist. Algirdas was invited to perform as a guest artist at the biggest low brass festival in the world, ITEC, in 2012 and 2014. In 2013 Algirdas won the ‘Fodens’ open solo competition in UK and received a Besson prize award. As a part of the prize he was invited to perform as a guest soloist with the only full-time professional brass band in the world, the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh. In 2014 Algirdas did a concert tour with the band, which led to a scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a move to the U.S.A. a year later.

Since 2015 Algirdas has been living in Pittsburgh, where he started playing with River City Brass on regular basis as well as continuing his Master’s degree in music performance.

At the moment Algirdas is an actively performing soloist with various solo recitals under his belt, having performed at venues in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Scotland, USA and Austria. Very recently he performed an opening recital in a well-recognized festival in Lithuania called “Sugrizimai”. His performance received positive reviews from music experts and critics through multiple music magazines and public media. Algirdas’ upcoming season schedule is looking extremely busy, filled with not only solo and brass band activities but also many innovative projects which will take place in the near future.

Visiting and subscribing to Algirdas’ Youtube channel is an absolute must for euphonium players and brass players in general. His insights into brass playing and presentation are inspiring and highly entertaining.

Introducing Oboe Player and Pianist – Gail Ford

Gail Ford
Visit Gail’s website
Gail Ford is a pianist/accompanist/oboist, based near Cambridge but working throughout the UK and Europe.

Gail studied at Manchester University, and later privately with teachers such as Nina Walker, Gordon Back and Clifton Helliwell. Her performing experience ranges from music hall to grand opera, including recitals, auditions, rehearsals and silent movies.

She has played in many prestigious venues including the Barbican, South Bank Centre, the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Italian Consulate, and her clients have included English Heritage, The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, wedding parties, music societies, corporates and cinemas.

With the Collaborative Orchestra and Singers, she was a semi-finalist (oboe) on Britain’s Got Talent 2016, and also took part in the 10 Day Orchestra Challenge. She performs for rehearsals, performance, auditions and functions.

Available for bookings, session and recordings. Contact Gail to check availabilty and discuss fees

Gail Ford
Listen to Gail on Sound Cloud

As An Oboist

As well as having orchestral experience, Gail plays regularly in wind and concert bands, chamber ensembles, pit bands, in solo recitals and in duo with the flautist Andrea Dunton.

She is especially interested in using the oboe in jazz & Latin-American music, and has recently performed for the sixth year in the Summer Music Season at St John’s Stratford, East London, with a programme of jazz arrangements, and has also performed with the London Phoenix Orchestra and The Collaborative Orchestra at St John’s Smith’s Square, as well as not a few jam sessions! She is available for functions, pit band, session, commercial and group work.  She has a classical training, but also plays by ear, and improvises, in jazz, blues, rock & funk styles – if you need a reading musician who can also work in jazz, Latin-American, soul and other fields, she can help you. She can also record and send tracks to you via the Internet.

“A very organic moment of music” Gail Ford “ Because You Asked Me

˜Because You Asked Me ” is a beautiful recording, a very organic moment of music, simplistic in elements, yet vast and calming in its output. The oboe is not so commonly heard as the leading instrument in modern music, but it’s a gorgeous sounding instrument and is played with great skill and grace throughout this track.

Listen to ” Because you asked me”

The piano backing piece is a fairly big part of the recording, the playing in this case is crisp and confident and effective and it contrasts well with the gentler, more dreamlike sound of the wind instrument. Both work well together though, and one without the other would possibly be somewhat less captivating. The music is the sort that you can put on for those reflective moments at home, writing perhaps, thinking deeply, staring out of the window on a rainy day. The notes throughout the piece are the sort that conjure up quite a nostalgic array of imagery; films from way back when, a mellow jazz bar, maybe some quieter times. It’s likely that it’s the kind of music that means something quite different to each person who hears it, and that it’s the beauty of it in many ways. To each their own in how they receive and experience the sound.

The music takes you on a journey, the melody of the oboe tells a story, and the break towards the middle of the track “ when the piano takes the lead for a while “ is a moment to let go for a while. It’s a well placed break and, all in all, despite its simplicity, there is a strong and clever use of structure throughout that keeps things interesting, whilst always relevant and fitting. It’s a fairly unique sound and a pleasure to listen to.

By Rebecca Cullen



2 Great new Arrangements for Wind and Brass from Ashley Buxton

If like me, you are always looking for new repertoire for your ensembles, and need a balance between playability and interest, then these two new arrangements by Ashley Buxton are a perfect match. Click on the images below to see a sample and here a digital preview.

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Horn in F, Euphonium, Drums, Wind Band/Concert band – Intermediate
By Nat “King” Cole. Arranged by Ashley S Buxton. Score, Set of Parts. 34 pages. Published by Ashley Mark Publishing Company (H0.294897-588900).

Brass Choir or Ensemble, Drum Set – Advanced Intermediate
By PSY. Arranged by Ashley S Buxton. Score, Set of Parts. 20 pages. Published by Ashley Mark Publishing Company (H0.294899-227549).

Item Number: H0.294899-227549

The popular Gangnam Style. This version is for Brass Ensemble.

Introducing Our New Feature – Spotlight on a Music Student

At FFM, we want to highlight new and aspiring musical talent wherever we find it and where better than the many Music Colleges, Universities and Schools around the world. Our new feature ‘Spotlight on a Music Student’ is an opportunity for you or someone you know to step into the spotlight and share your talent, dreams and ambitions with the musical world.

All you have to do is send us your information, pictures, videos, sound clips and links  and we will compile your feature.

email direct to

Much love and happy music making,

The FFM team

FFM’s Advent Calendar of the Greatest Christmas Songs of All Time

Every day throughout December, FFM will be opening a virtual advent calendar window featuring a different Christmas song, culminating with our readers’ all-time favourite on Christmas Day. Vote for your favourite by commenting in the box below.

Here is a classic to get you started.

Funding a Fantastic Musical Project

Freedom For Musicians  are raising funds for our fantastic musical friends in Uganda.  They need to buy instruments to continue the fantastic work already being done by the David Kiwana Wind Orchestra.

“We are a starting wind classics band and we intend to give chance to our players to play music and we really need your support for us to do it please what ever you give will help give a chance to one African child a chance to get a chance to play music .
thank you all all friends around the world .
Help spread the word!”
Wodonya Innocent

Innocent Wodonya
Visit Innocent’s Gofundme page by clicking here.

With no public funding, these brilliant young musicians rely on kind donations to buy and repair their instruments. I am raising money to not only provide an equipment fund, but to provide tuition and a professional digital recording which they can sell to provide a small income and sustainable funding. This will be released through FFM Records. Please help us help them with any donation you can manage by visiting Gofundme.
Much love,
Roger Moisan


Careers in the Royal Air Force Music Services

Current Vacancies: Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, French Horn, Tenor Trombone, Tuba, Bass Guitar/String Bass, Percussion

The Battle of Britain (BoB) 75th Commemoration Gala Dinner was taken placed at Royal Air Force (RAF) Northolt on 17th September 2015. The Gala Dinner included a Sunset Parade from the Queens Colour Squadron based at RAF Northolt and a Fly-past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).

Contact us

What standard should you be?
To join the RAF as a musician you will need to have a minimum playing standard of ABRSM Grade 8 or equivalent.

Entry is by audition based upon the format of the Grade 8 examination. Entry level is determined at that audition; either Part-Qualified (the minimum standard acceptable), or Qualified (typically at college graduate/diploma standard).

Basic Recruit Training
Basic recruit training takes place over 10 weeks at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire

Part-Qualified Entry
Salary – £19,634.52
After Basic Recruit Training, Part-Qualified Entrants will spend approximately 12 weeks at Headquarters Music Services. They will undertake further study on their instrument, learn band drill, and complete written projects prior to final assessment and posting to a band.

Qualified Entry
Salary – £25,272.24
After Basic Recruit Training, Qualified Entrants will spend approximately 4 weeks at Headquarters Music Services for Familiarization Training before their first posting.

The initial contract is for twelve years, but notice to leave can be given, subject to a qualifying period of service.

The upper age limit for musicians applying is 39 years on the day of attestation (the first day on Recruit Training). The lower age limit is 17 ½.
Further details on the RAF Recruitment Eligibility Check

If this has been helpful to you, please help us by clicking on our sponsor’s ads. It won’t cost you anything but we will get a few pence per click.

Much love and happy music making,

Roger Moisan