Rwanda Defence Force Military Band

Rwanda Defence Force Military Band

After the silent drill team in their striking blue and black uniforms had finished their routine, and the echoing boom of their bass drum had faded away, the Army Band of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) strode into the arena.

The Rwandan Army Band is participating in the Cape Town Military Tattoo for the first time

The powerful beams from the light-clusters mounted above the walls glanced off their shiny brass instruments, which flashed brightly, as they marched past the spectators, giving their salute. They played some unusual pieces of music that I hadn’t heard before, including one very slow march, which sounded almost like a funeral processing – it was deeply stirring and hauntingly beautiful.

The program notes give a little bit about the history of the Rwandan Army Band, which is in charge of ceremonial functions in the RDF:

“The band was established during the Liberation War in 1992, and its first performance was on 8 March 1992 with only 16 members. After the Liberation War in 1994, the band was re-established with 46 members.