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From Kent…… Tashkent!

Director of Music (Lt Col Wayne Hopla)

"vibrant capital of Uzbekistan – Tashkent”.

Following our very successful and recent ATE to Cyprus, it was time once again for a small team from the PWRR Band to pack a case, board a plane and take to the skies….our destination being the vibrant capital of Uzbekistan – Tashkent.

Arriving late in Istanbul (impact of The Champions League Final staged the previous day!) it resulted in us missing our connecting flight…but some 6 hours later, we were finally back in the air and on our way. Tired and exhausted, we eventually arrived in Tashkent, met by the Defence Attaché and escorted to our hotel for a very good night of sleep.

Waking fully refreshed, we were straight into our visit programme – a joint rehearsal with The National Guard Presidential Orchestra, building to a combined concert the following day.

CSgt Lorna Rance and WO1(Bandmaster) Ian Collin leading the way…..

The programme reflected music from our cultures, which stretched the concentration levels of both sets of players. In attendance was the Minister of the Uzbekistan National Guard and on seeing CSgt Lorna Rance & Sgt Lynn Rawlings performing next to their male counterparts, gave an immediate order that females are to be permitted to serve in the National Guard Presidential Orchestra.

This is an incredible move forward for their organisation, displaying how music can be so important and influential in Defence Engagement.

Sgt Lynn Rawlings on the Bass Guitar…..

Our final event was supporting the British Embassy for their annual KBP. As well as performing our own music, we accompanied 2 very famous Uzbek singers and again joined forces with National Guard Presidential Orchestra – the first time they had ever played within the confines of the Embassy walls.

Performing at The British Embassy with our fellow Uzbekistan musical brothers…..

Far too soon, it was time to pack and depart with a feeling of a job extremely well done. It is not often that you can say that you have changed National policy and given the opportunity to improve the lives of others but we managed to achieve that amaz ing feat……all though the power of music.


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