TYMBA National Championship 2019

November 11, 2019 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

A few weekends ago the band took part in the long awaited TYMBA National Championships which was held at the prestigious Royal Marines Whale Island Barracks. Having been successful in qualifying competitions, the band were eager to put their best foot forward once again.

On arrival, the band split into sections and took part in workshops led by current serving Royal Marine Musicians. They were accompanied by members from other competing bands that had also travelled from around the UK. After the workshop they were shown a glimpse into the life of a Royal Marine Musician with a presentation from some of the staff. After some lunch it was back to work; this time for rehearsals of our display routines with the support and professional eyes of a Marines Musician. This also gave us our first real glimpse of other competing bands and the competition was high!

After rehearsals we were shown to our accommodation which had been a talking point amongst the band for many weeks leading up to the weekend. It is not uncommon for the band to stay in a variety of venues; hotels/hostels/tents/school halls…but this was a new experience for all band members. Our accommodation was none other than HMS Excellent! Whilst there were a variety of feelings about staying onboard a working Naval Warship the band found the experience one to remember or years to come.

Day 2 – competition day. We had rehearsed as much as possible, the NCOs were busy helping younger band members as we were implementing our new #AskAnNCO slogan and the boot polish and hairspray was flowing. First up was the open class which gave us a chance to work off some nerves before the afternoon National Class. There is nothing quite like the calm before the storm as you’re waiting behind the doors to go marching onto the display square. Afternoon came and it was time for the National Class. With the audience prepared and the judges waiting, we stepped off – all those hours of rehearsals and mosquito bites gained from late night practises were about to be made worth it. The crack of boots hitting the floor rang out across the hanger and we ended in rapturous applause.

RDTC National Champions

The final and most strenuous part came with the massed band award ceremony. All the bands that took part in both classes did an amazing job and we ourselves learnt from the others around us. Results came in and after some nail biting moments we were declared the National Champions and to help remind us, we were presented with an impressive trophy to take centre spot in our cabinet. We also came away with three Golds in the Open Class and the best Drum Major award. In celebration, we commandeered the Marines parade square for a rendition of our award winning, “Zorba the Greek”, joined by our good friends from Tonbridge 17th Scout and Guide Band. Not wanting to waste time we packed up and headed home but not before having various renditions of we are the champions on the coach home….thankfully we won a marching band contest, though as a choir we are not quite there. A brilliant weekend, fantastic effort from the band, staff, supporters, Royal Marines and all other bands involved. A weekend and trip to remember. #AskAnNCO.

RDTC National Champions


Our trip to Sopron, Hungary

June 19, 2016 in Recent Highlights by RDTC


West Ham vs. Manchester United

June 19, 2016 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

On 7th May, the last game for West Ham United was held at the Boleyn ground – home for the team since the start of the 1904/1905 season. West Ham were up against Manchester United and the band were delighted to be a part of the last ever game at West Ham United’s Boleyn ground. The band has played at this ground on numerous occasions in the past and to play one last time on such a momentous day was a huge honour. Playing before the game and at half time, the atmosphere was amazing and a show we will never forget.


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NTC Contest 2015

October 27, 2015 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

25th October

Sunday was competition day – the first competition for the band this year. The Nautical Training Corps Contest 2015 was held at The Triangle Leisure Centre in Burgess Hill, West Sussex and aside from the NTC classes, they had offered an Open class which the band entered into.

We had been practicing for the month leading up to the contest and put in two extra weekend rehearsals to make use of what daylight was left of the season and the excitement of the band grew for our first competition of 2015.

The contest involved a 12 minute arena performance and the band entered to the march; Glorious Victory – more on the victory later 🙂  The band formed into 3 ranks of 16 as Drum Major, George Foreman saluted to start our performance. The routine started with the march; Imperial Echoes which entailed a series of quick and slow marching as well as an array of visual manoeuvres. Moving on to something more contemporary, the band then formed a circle to play Uptown Funk (the 2015 hit by Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars). Lastly, but by no means least – in fact, most in some ways – the band played Zorba which starts at around 45 beats per minute (bpm) and gradually increases up to around 190 bpm. It starts as a slow march, one pace at a time, and by the end resembles something just short of a jog – this was made famous by our friends at The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas

For the results – we did rather well! We won a collection of 8 awards including:

  • Best Overall Band (Open Class)
  • Best Turnout
  • Best Musical Performance
  • Best Visual Performance

A thoroughly enjoyable day on all counts and the band did an excellent job, with additional thanks to our Band Director Paul Binder, and the rest of the tutors, and supporting staff.

The RDTC, NTC Contest 2015

The RDTC, NTC Contest 2015



Beating Retreat 2015

June 14, 2015 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

The Romford Drum & Trumpet Corps were invited to open Beating Retreat 2015 at Horseguards Parade, London which we last appeared at in 2013.

Beating Retreat

This year was themed around the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo so it had a strong historical prominence, and situated against the backdrop of St James’ Park.

The band last appeared at Beating Retreat in 2013 and we thoroughly enjoyed it two years ago, so all of the members we’re looking forward to going back for the two night event. The event itself featured music from the Massed Bands of The Household Division and a military re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo.


The Band had a 20 minute programme to put on for the audience so we combined some traditional miltary marches and a 2015 chart hit. We opened with a quick march – Great Little Army – followed by Imperial Echoes where the band started to show its experience of visual displays. Alternating sections of the band mixed slow and quick marching before breaking into a slow march – Royal Standard.

Beating Retreat

At this point, our drum section moved forward to show their precison of playing and stick movement, before the band brought things up to date with the chart it “Uptown Funk” – a 2015 hit from Pharell Williams.

Bringing the performance up in tempo, the band finished their display with Zorba (The Greek) often performaned by The Band of the Brigade of Gurkahs. It started with a very slow march, moving one step at a time and as the piece progresses, so does the tempo along with the band’s marching, where it finished at around 150-160 bpm.

The band were well received in person and on social media and the members were also full of excitement after both nights, a job well done!

 “What a show, Colour, military music and precision and great entertainment. The Waterloo theme was a bonus and really made the evening go with a bang. Well done the Household Division, Britain’s military at it’s best assisted by the German marching band and the very professional marching band from Romford during the warm up.”


For more images of the Romford Drum & Trumpet Corps at Beating Retreat 2015, see our collection below:



Christmas Concert 2015

June 1, 2015 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

Tickets £6 (£5 members) and £4 children.

Can be purchased at rehearsals or email: Fiona Widdop |


London Marathon 2015

May 7, 2015 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

The band returned for another year playing at the London Marathon, at our usual post – mile 23, outside the Tower of London.

The fun always starts with getting the marquee up and learning our lesson from last year, we marked the connecting section and beat our own personal best of 26 poles in 18 minutes. The day is always good fun and this year didn’t let us down, entertaining the runners – some of them even joined in – and bringing out some new pieces like: “Manhattan Skyline” (Saturday Night Fever)

This year, some extra encouragement was due as our very own Aaron Uglow (1st Trombone) ran in aid of the band. Looking well at mile 23, Aaron went on to finish in 5 H 23 mins – a great achievement.





RDTC Annual Christmas Concert

January 5, 2015 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

This year we held the band Christmas Concert at our HQ in Taunton Road, Harold Hill on two nights. The performance itself was split into two halves. xmasThe first half featured some of our new and favourite pieces – to name a few:

  • Mechanized Infantry (March)
  • Game of Thrones Theme
  • Solitaire (Trumpet Solo by Ben Widopp)
  • Hey Jude – The Beatles
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams

The second half had a much more festive approach with:

  • Happy Christmas (War is Over)
  • The Christmas Song (More Commonly Known as Nat King Cole’s Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
  • Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie
  • Silent Night
  • Jingle Bells
  • The Nut Rocker (An upbeat arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Nut Cracker)

…and of course, everyone’s favourite “The 12 Days of Christmas” with the usual Audience Participation!




Remembrance Day Parade, Hornchurch

January 5, 2015 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

The band were honoured to return again this year to Hornchurch to lead the procession of future, present and past service men and women through the town centre and to the Remembrance Memorial for the annual service.

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Dick Bouchard MBE | Memorial Concert

November 3, 2014 in Recent Highlights by RDTC

This article was written by Jeff Brown – Jeff was a band member in the 1960’s/70s and went on to be the Bandmaster of the Haverettes Girls Band.


“Romford Drum and Trumpet Corp members, parents, ex members grouped together at the Broadway theatre to celebrate and reflect on the life of “Dick Bouchard” the bands founder and bandmaster who sadly passed away August 2013.

Prior to the sell out concert there was a bubbly atmosphere in the theatre foyer from all that attended, even the older ex-members, some now in their 60s meeting each other for the first time since their band days.

The concert got off to a formal start with the National Anthem and a tribute to “Dick” from former band member and now President Captain James Marshall. The band then swung straight into a cracking march piece “Great Little Army” where the theatre lights hit the band, highlighting the stunning gold and green uniforms.

The concert was compered by Warrant Officer Adrian Beckett MBE, who started by introducing the present band to the members of the audience.

Adrian Beckett MBE & Mitchel Cressy

Adrian Beckett MBE & Mitchel Cressy

Bandsman Ben Widdop played a flugel solo, Neil Sedaka’s “Solitaire” with the band backing him, this young 13 year old lad had the audience in the palm of his hand.

Ben Widdop

Ben Widdop

A Mary Poppins selection was next to celebrate 50 years since the film’s release, was an eye catching idea to have scenes of the film showing on the big screen whilst the band were playing.

Julie Andrews dancing to bands music was certainly something to remember.Dick Bouchard MBE

The bands Musical Director Samantha Barrand BA composed an anthem dedicated to “Dick” entitled Reflections. The audience grew silent as they all thought of Dick and the times good and bad (mostly good). Reflections was the theme of the concert and Samantha’s composition certainly seized the moment. This was followed by an uplifting selection entitled “Bloody Marvellous” Dicks catchphrase.


Band showed just what they could do with the next piece “Cossack Fire Dance featuring several solo’s from members, trumpeter Daisie Foreman brought the house down with her solos, perhaps the best solo trumpeter ever heard from a youth band.


SingGreat tunes were played by the band “Mechanised Infantry”, “Contender”, and even Gary Barlow’s “Sing” where members showed off their vocal skills.



Highlight of this memorial concert was a magnificent rendition of Dougie MacLean’s “The Gael.”   This has to be Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps finest tune, made even more emotional when joined by the bagpipes of the Epping Forest Pipe BandEpping Forest Pipe Band, the pipes stayed for the haunting “Highland Cathedral”.

The concert started to draw to a close but not before we heard the march “Green and Gold” written by Clint Bray in 2001 and dedicated to Dick Bouchard.

Band Director Paul Binder gave a touching speech about Dick explaining his love for the band he was married to, the band was his family. One tune meant the world to him, “My Way” The band played it many times for him, most memorably at his funeral service. The entire theatre was united as one while the band played his favourite song – My 10644516_10152378155582826_1370619366444182254_nway, a very emotional and touching tribute to this remarkable man.

The Bugles of 17th Tonbridge Scout Band brought the concert to a close with the bugle call “No more parades today”Adrian Beckett MBE



A brilliant night full of music and laughter.  The compere Adrian Beckett MBE was funny, witty and did a great job in helping us to remember the life of Dick Bouchard.


Band Director Paul Binder, you are doing an amazing job, and as Dick would say “Bloody Marvellous!”

Author: Jeff Brown

We have been flooded with requests for footage and we can confirm that a professional videographer was present and we will be producing a DVD of the event, click below to register your interest: