Band of the Coldstream Guards

Band of the Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards Band
Also known as Band of the Coldstream Guards
Origin London, England, United Kingdom
Website Home of the Coldstream Guards Band

The Band of the Coldstream Guards is one of the oldest and best known bands in the British Army, having been officially formed on 16 May 1785 [1] under the command of Major C F Eley, reflecting the fact that the Coldstream Guards regiment is the oldest of the guards regiments. Although the band is not technically the oldest in the Army, it has the longest standing tradition of music, as from its earliest days the officers of the Coldstream Guards hired eight musicians to provide music for the regiment during the changing of the guard. This is an event which still occurs today, every day at eleven thirty in the summer outside Buckingham Palace.



The band received the first British bandmaster in 1835 called Charles Godfry, as previously most bandmasters had been foreign, such as the first who was German.

The Coldstream Guards Band was one of the very first British army bands to make a recording before World War I.

On 18 June 1944 over one hundred twenty people were killed in the chapel at Wellington Barracks when a German flying bomb hit the chapel. The director of the band was included in those killed, prompting Captain Douglas Alexander Pope to be appointed.

In 1960, the band started a new tradition, to tour from coast to coast of the United States of America, each ten years. This tradition still takes place.

The band is currently based at Wellington Barracks in St. James's London along with all of the other guards bands, although the Coldstream Guards Band moved in as soon as the barracks was completed, making it the first official home of the band.

Current personnel of note

  • Director of Music: Lt Col Graham Jones MBE DMA MMus FTCL FRSA ARCM psm. He is also Senior Director of Music Household Division.
  • Bandmaster: WO1 Gregory Machin MA BMus (Hons) ALCM.
  • Band Sergeant Major: WO2 Peter McErlean
  • Composer in Residence: Dr Martin Ellerby


There are several ensembles within the band of the Coldstream Guards:

  • Concert Band
  • Marching Band
  • Orchestra
  • Brass Quintet
  • Function Band
  • Jazz Trio
  • Fanfares
  • Woodwind Quintet
  • Rock Band Monck
  • 18th Century Band


The Coldstream Guards Band plays regularly for ceremonial occasions and events. Some are listed below but this is not a comprehensive list.

The band also performs at other non-military events in the same way as other military bands such as the Grenadier Guards Band or another civilian professional organisations.

Album and Record Deal

In June 2009 the band signed a record deal with Universal Music imprint Decca, reportedly worth £1million.[2] Their debut album 'Heroes' was released on November 30, 2009 and was nominated for Best Album of the Year for Classical Brits. The Band of the Coldstream Guards performed at the Classical Brits Awards gala at the Royal Albert Hall.

The new album Pride of the Nation is out now, and is currently No.1 in the Classical charts.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

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