RAF Music Services News

Poppy Ball & Prom - Abu Dhabi

Large poppy adorns a set stage before a concert.
The Band of the Royal Air Force College have just returned from an incredible week in Abu Dhabi performing at the Poppy Ball and Poppy Prom, in the most amazing of settings on the beach at The Club venue, raising vital funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.


The Poppy Ball took place against a breath-taking backdrop of the skyscrapers’ reflections in the sea.  An act of remembrance began with the Last Post, sounded by Senior Aircraftwoman Boddice-Brown who was situated on top of a glowing red tower, fitting for the occasion.


Under the direction of Warrant Officer Andy Allott, the band performed music such as The Pacific, Elegy on the RAF March Past and Irish Tune from County Derry to a packed crowd including the British Ambassador, Defence Attaché and Air Attaché amongst many others. 


Whilst enjoying a meal, the guests were entertained by our woodwind quintet led by Corporal Jason Rose.  During this time, the rest of the band were able to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere around the venue.


RAF Swing Wing then performed for the audience before Diamond Nine, the dance band of the Band of the RAF College led by Corporal Philippa Hobbs, brought the evening to an emphatic close with music by Stevie Wonder, Abba, Bruno Mars and Tina Turner, to name a few.


At the Poppy Proms the band performed an eclectic programme featuring music from James Bond, Queen and The Beatles with the concert concluding in a traditional proms fashion with Jerusalem, Fantasia on British Sea Songs and Pomp and Circumstance, which delivered a standing ovation. 
Diamond Nine once again brought the evening to a close with two fantastic sets to an amazed crowd who danced along all evening.


The band personnel, pictured, were able to enjoy some down time with a group visiting Ferrari World, the theme park with the fastest roller coaster in the world, whilst another group explored the local area and some got their last minute tan together before the return to a colder UK.


This was a truly momentous occasion to be a part of for both the band and audiences alike and David Scott, Chairman of Poppy Abu Dhabi said,

The stunning setting on the beach at The Club was bettered only by the band.  Without exception, all guests commented on how magnificent the Band were, whether performing the ceremonial part of Remembrance, giving the best Prom we have ever had, or thrilling everyone with Swing Wing or Diamond Nine.


Article by Corporal Steve Green

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