Over the past year, our year 11 student, Annabel Garrod, has achieved some miraculous things during her journey as a cadet. At the end of 2017, Annabel applied for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) National Concert Band. Despite some 5,000 cadets in the UK applying, Annabel was lucky enough to be one of the 40 cadets selected to join the band. As well as that, even though she didn’t apply for the position, she was invited to join the RAFAC National Marching Band too, describing this as a “real challenge” as she had to learn to coordinate herself to march whilst playing complicated music on her instrument. However, she said the training she received from the National Staff was incredible and has enabled her to progress.
In fact, because of her hard work and progression, Annabel is now leading her section in the Concert Band, whilst also being a key part of the drill and tuning section in the Marching Band. As a cadet at KEVIGS, she is in charge of the school’s Cadet Band, and frequently takes part in the Region Band and the Central and East Yorkshire Wing Band.
Throughout the year both the RAFAC Concert Band and Marching Band have taken Annabel all over the country, from places like the Royal Courts of Justice in February, to the International Birmingham Military Tattoo in November. On top of these events, she has participated in charity work, performed at dining-in nights for highly-ranking officers, and played at concerts in arenas, halls, cathedrals and abbeys – even in several aircraft hangars!
Annabel explained her experience to me, “I’ve met hundreds of amazing people who I am humbled to have come across. They’ve influenced me to work hard, whilst showing me what true friendship is. The experience this year has been unbelievable, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.”
Although Annabel’s plans for 2019 are yet to be finalised, she has reapplied for both bands, with the hope that, if she returns to the Concert Band, she will officially be given the position of Principle Clarinettist, which is one of her biggest aims. She has also applied for as many activities as possible, not all of which are musical related. On reflecting on her past year as a cadet, Annabel said, “The one thing I’ve learnt from being a cadet is that you have to take every single opportunity you possibly can. Each camp, gig and lesson will undoubtedly teach you something, and you can then use these skills in your day-to-day life. Being a cadet is massively important to me. I couldn’t imagine not being involved in the air cadets – it’s by far one of the things I will always be most passionate about.”