Royal Air Force Pipe Band Association

Royal Air Force Pipe Band Association

Piping has a firm tradition in the Royal Air Force, going back virtually to the formation of the Service and, together with a wide range of semi-official corps of drums, brass bands and military bands, provided the basis upon which such prestigious bands as the Central Band of the RAF were formed.

Today, the backbone of the RAF's five pipe bands is provided by RAF tradesmen, their officers, and civilian volunteers and are formed on a geographical basis from RAF Stations throughout the United Kingdom. 

RAF Pipes and Drums - RAF 100

Royal Air Force Pipes and Drums

RAF at the Basel Tattoo

The RAF's five pipe bands regularly combine to represent the RAF in State ceremonial or other major public events. Indeed, exposure of RAF piping and drumming at home and abroad continues to gain an increasingly high profile and is held in high regard across the piping community. RAF Pipers and Drummers have performed at many high profile events all around the world - the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Jools Holland Hootenany (BBC1), international Tattoos in Basel (right), Berlin, t' Hertogenbosch, Melbourne, Sydney, and Wellington. The RAF 100th anniversary saw pipers and drummers marching the Standards and Personell down the Mall (above) and at Buckingham Palace as well as for Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral. RAF Pipes and Drums regularly play alongside the RAF Central Band as well as the Queen's Colour Squadron for World class events.

Until 2004, the five bands had different tartans representing their individual Stations. Although King George V granted permission for the Royal Air Force to wear Grey Douglas in 1937, the bands over the years all used their respective Station tartans. For the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2004, bandsmen from the five RAF pipe bands were issued with the RAF Tartan for the first time.

The employment of professional Pipe Majors in the RAF has assured the development, ability and standing of RAF piping. Led by these Pipe Majors, the bands are all well prepared and experienced to perform as individuals.

New pipers and drummers are always welcome - expert tuition is always at hand. If you think you would be interested in joining, contact your nearest band and take the first step. The opportunities available to pipers and drummers in this band are unique to the RAF voluntary pipe bands.

The bands are always happy to quote on all kinds of functions, large or small with the size of band adjusted to suit the occasion and funding available. For that really special event why not ask for a piper or two, in full highland dress.

So promote your event and delight your guests, not with any band, but with RAF Pipes and Drums. We're a guaranteed show stopper!

Balmoral Castle