From Kent…to Tashkent! PWRR Band Perform in Uzbekistan

Following its very successful and recent Adventurous Training Exercise to Cyprus, it was time once again for a small team from The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Band to pack a case, board a plane and take to the skies…its destination being the vibrant capital of Uzbekistan – Tashkent.

Arriving late in Istanbul (impact of The Champions League Final staged the previous day!) it resulted in the band missing their connecting flight…but some 6 hours later, they were finally back in the air and on their way. Tired and exhausted, they eventually arrived in Tashkent, met by the Defence Attaché and escorted to the hotel for a very good night of sleep.

Waking fully refreshed, the band went straight into its visit programme – a joint rehearsal with The National Guard Presidential Orchestra, building to a combined concert the following day.

CSgt Lorna Rance and WO1(Bandmaster) Ian Collin leading the way

The programme reflected music from our cultures, which stretched the concentration levels of both sets of players. In attendance was the Minister of the Uzbekistan National Guard and on seeing CSgt Lorna Rance & Sgt Lynn Rawlings performing next to their male counterparts, gave an immediate order that females are to be permitted to serve in the National Guard Presidential Orchestra.

This is an incredible move forward for their organisation, displaying how music can be so important and influential in Defence Engagement.

Sgt Lynn Rawlings on the Bass Guitar

The band’s final event was supporting the British Embassy for their annual KBP. As well as performing its own music, they accompanied 2 very famous Uzbek singers and again joined forces with National Guard Presidential Orchestra – the first time they had ever played within the confines of the Embassy walls.

Performing at The British Embassy with fellow Uzbekistan musical brothers

Far too soon, it was time to pack and depart with a feeling of a job extremely well done. It is not often that you can say that you have changed National policy and given the opportunity to improve the lives of others, but the band managed to achieve that amazing feat……all though the power of music.

The Band of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was formed in 1993 and is one of 19 UK-based Army Reserve Bands. The Regiment, however (also known as the ‘Tigers’), can trace its lineage as far back as 1572, with its modern formations coming into force in 1992, on the amalgamation of the Queen’s Regiment and the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

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