The Band Commandments
courtesy Bill Matthews
1. Always make a point of being as late as possible for any rehearsal, when you eventually arrive, enter in the nonchalant manner befitting your supreme importance.
2. In making your way through the band, endeavor to kick over as many stands as you can; the lads will love picking them up again.
3. When you are settled down (which should take a long time) take care that your instrument is not too nearly in tune with the others – it is always they that are wrong – NEVER you.
4. If you haven’t a part of the piece you are going to play, wait until the Bandmaster is about to start before you tell anyone.
5. When the Bandmaster is prepared to commence, you take no notice – It is really the signal for everyone to start blowing and bowing as loudly as they possibly can.
6. Should you by any chance make a wrong note, you should glare very hard at your nearest neighbor, He will enter into the spirit of the game and take all the blame.
7. Strings should always be made to break in the middle of a piece of music, the resulting twang ! Makes a valuable contribution to the harmony and will not sound at all out of place.
8. Never take any notice of the fellow in front waving a silly little stick about, he is only there for decoration, and it is the Band who show HIM “how it should go”.
9. The music you play is public property, so you can tear it and “dog ear” it as much as you like, there is a librarian in the Band to look after it, and he has a wonderful time repairing your damage with reams of sticky tape, his only way of getting revenge, is to cover up all the notes with thick brown paper.
10. When you finally pack up after an enjoyable rehearsal, never give your music to the librarian – let him chase all over the barracks for it – that is what he is paid for!!.
It goes without saying that the above is by way of “Being a Satire on the ways of the Bandsman Species R.M.B.” and could never possibly have any bearing on THIS BAND.
© By Lt. W (Bill) Greasley R.M.B. HQ 3rd. Commando Brigade Malta.
(The then Bandmaster of the HQ 3rd. Commando Brigade band. in Malta at St Georges Bay)