Air Cadet Bands Wow Carol Vorderman

Carol Vorderman, Honorary Group Captain of the Air Cadets praised proud youngsters from across the country at Royal Air Force Halton 30 November. Competing bands were thrilled to accept accolades from her at the annual Air Cadet National Band Championships.

As new Ambassador for the RAF Air Cadets, the TV presenter said: “I couldn’t have been prouder to have had the chance to meet the winners. This is my second week and I’m already bowled over by the Air Cadets’ enthusiasm and skills. The music today was of an incredibly high standard and I can’t wait to see what else they’re capable of.”

Cadets from Devon and Somerset looked every inch the professional unit and resisted stiff competition from other Squadrons throughout the UK to win top prizes as Best Band. They also took the trophy for Best Ensemble.

Drum Major, Flight Sergeant Tim Salvidge,17, of 1955 (Wells) Squadron who led the winning band only had time to say : “It was wonderful to win,” before being asked to lead his band to perform their winning routine again in front of proud parents and visiting VIPs.

Other prizes on the day were presented to Cadet Warrant Officer Sarah Owens,18, from 886 (Ripon) Squadron for Best Solo Bugle. She was full of enthusiasm for the Air Cadet Organisation, saying: “You get out of it what you put in. Go for it.” and added “I never really expected to do this, but I’m delighted I did.” She has done a lot with the Air Cadets, travelling from her home in Yorkshire to Cyprus and camps at many UK bases since she joined five years ago.

Corporal Lisa Baker from London and the South East, was recognised as Best Solo Drummer. The Best Drum Major was from 114 (Ruislip and Northolt) Squadron.

Across the UK, Air Cadets parade regularly, often supporting events within their local communities. Cadets are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism and are outstanding ambassadors for the Royal Air Force. The Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said: “It’s very much about developing teamwork”. Describing the wide range of activities open to cadets, such as gliding, shooting and adventurous training, she added: “The world’s their oyster, whatever their interest is, they can find it in the Air Cadet organisation.”