About Us

RAF Cosford Voluntary Band

Based just outside Wolverhampton, this friendly and versatile Band provides musical support for ceremonial and social occasions at RAF Stations throughout the UK and abroad. They are also popular in the local community. In recent years the Band has participated in concerts in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, visited the Falkland Islands and Cyprus and performed for Her Majesty the Queen.

The Band's assortment of musical styles and formations reflects the diversity of their engagements ranging from concerts and parades, to more intimate occasions like receptions and dinners. Other ensembles have been formed to add variety.

Membership is free and open to all experienced musicians. Rehearsals are well attended and fun with everyone striving to get the best from themselves and their sections.

About the Bandmaster

Patrick Ryan BA (Hons) LRSM ARCM

Pat joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1976 and three years later became only the second recipient of the prestigious ‘Princes Badge’ for the best all-round musician at the end of his training. As a clarinettist and violinist he travelled extensively throughout the world, gaining first-hand experience in a wide range of musical genres. In 1990, he attended the RM Bandmasters Course at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent. During this time, studying conducting, composition, harmony and music history, he gained LRSM and ARCM conducting diplomas. From 1993 he was Bandmaster of bands in Portsmouth and Dartmouth, until in 1998 becoming the Project Leader for the RM Band Service’s successful bid to become ‘Investors in People’. Retiring from the Royal Marines in 2000, Pat became Tour Manager for the Monteverdi Choir’s ‘Bach Cantata Pilgrimage’, before moving to Birmingham as the Orchestra Manager of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

After several years teaching woodwind for Birmingham Music Service, and clarinet and conducting at Wolverhampton University, Pat took charge of the Voluntary Band at RAF Cosford in April 2015.

Royal Air Force Voluntary Band Association

The Voluntary Bands of the Royal Air Force have participated in the ancient tradition of military music for nearly a century. In 1918, when the Royal Air Force fledged from the union of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps, musicians of those two services, augmented by fresh recruits to the young RAF, came together to form the first RAF Voluntary Bands. Soon, many an RAF station boasted its own band and as the Second World War drew thousands more people into uniform, the number of RAF bases – and voluntary bands – increased both at home and overseas.

1990 saw the formation of the Royal Air Force Voluntary Band Association, one of the welcome results being increased cooperation and collaboration among the bands. For the first time, joint ventures such as the recent concert at Peterborough Cathedral with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force could be organised, to the great delight of audiences and musicians alike.

Today’s RAF Voluntary Bands are led by experienced Voluntary Band Instructors, skilled professionals who are the only paid members of the bands; other bandsmen and women are willing volunteers. They may be RAF or other Service personnel, family members or civilians – and anyone may apply to join. It’s a wonderful way of spending spare time, enjoying the company of like-minded enthusiasts and improving musical skills.

The last 2 years has been a busy period for all of the RAF Voluntary Bands who have covered hundreds of local events as well as participating in the biennial Massed Voluntary Bands Concert and the RAF100 parade in London.

Currently there are 8 Voluntary Bands located around the country and overseas located at;

RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus

RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire

RAF Cosford in the West Midlands

RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire

RAF Honington in Suffolk 

RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland

RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire 

RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire