Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Band bid farewell to Major Tony Adams – Director of Music

6th February 2019

The Band and the Brigade of Gurkhas would like to bid a fond farewell and thank you to the Director of Music of the Brigade Band Major Tony Adams who has served the band, drum and pipes extremely well over the last few years, taking time to get to understand the culture and his people. 

Major A R Adams MA (Dist) MCGI BA (Mus) LRSM Corps of Army Music

Major Tony Adams enlisted into the 16th/5th the Queen’s Royal Lancers in 1986 as a Bass Trombonist. After four years in Germany, he undertook the pupil’s course at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, culminating in him being awarded the Cassell’s prize and the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ medal for the best all round pupil of 1991.

He rejoined the 16th/5th Lancers and on amalgamation, served with the newly formed Queen’s Royal Lancers before joining the Band of Hussars and Light Dragoons in 1994. He was then selected for the 1995 Bandmaster Course, gaining a BA (Mus) degree from Kingston University and a Licentiate diploma from the Royal Military School of Music in ‘Bandmastership’. He graduated as best all-round student, becoming only the fourth person ever to be awarded medals from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for both pupil and Student Bandmaster courses.

As Warrant Officer Class One (Bandmaster) he joined the Normandy Band of the Queen’s Division in October 1998 and was immediately selected to head a Military Advisory Team on a six week visit to Tanzania and Kenya to observe and assist their army and police force bands. Further tours included Northern Ireland, Canada, Bosnia and Norway. Following his appointment as Bandmaster of the Band of the Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers in February 2002, he undertook extensive tours of Mexico and Germany prior to moving to The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall as School Bandmaster – the senior Bandmaster appointment in the British Army.

In February 2007, the newly commissioned Captain Adams completed a Master of Arts with Distinction in music performance and then returned to his cavalry roots as Director of Music (DOM) of the Light Cavalry Band in Bovington. Highlights of this tour include involvement in the Edinburgh and Nice Military Tattoos, and a Canada tour performing at the world-famous Spruce Meadows Masters’ show jumping tournament. A busy two year assignment as DOM of the Royal Corps of Signals Band began in early 2012 – the year of the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics. Upon the ‘Future Army Music 2020’ restructuring in April 2014, he took over The Royal Artillery Band as it relocated to Tidworth in Wiltshire, reforming it into a multi-capability Band focussing on Big Band / Show Band.

On promotion in April 2016, Major Adams achieved a long-term aspiration when he was afforded the great honour and privilege to be appointed DOM of The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

A former corps level footballer and rugby player, his hobbies now focus more on squash, water sports, motorcycling and searching for errant golf balls.

He has taken the band forward in terms of musical performance and has led the band on parades and events around the world. He is retiring from the British Army so we wish him well in his future endeavours.

Replacing him is Captain Shane O’Neill who will take up the Director of Music post in April this year. 

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