Hello, I am Leading Cadet McKenzie T.
Last weekend I travelled to London to take part in Sea Cadets’ National Band competition at the Tower of London.
This was my last cadet competition before I start training for the Royal Navy and over my 6 years of life in Sea Cadets, I can by far say that this stands out as my best experience.
I took part to represent Southport Sea Cadets as a Bugler and bell lyre player in our unit band, as well as competing in the solo bugling competition.
Southport Sea Cadet’s unit band won the area competition, which meant we represented the North West Area. We were the smallest band in the competition against the other areas. Despite this, after months of hard work and commitment from every member, our band placed 4th overall which felt very rewarding and proved that hard work pays off.
The standard was very high, and watching the others bands perform was also an amazing experience because seeing the hard work and skill of so many other cadets in action made everyone feel proud to be part of such a special, talented organisation and prestigious event.
However, the best part for me was definitely seeing the support from our units staff and parents, We had a large group of them travelling down to watch us and after our display, seeing their reactions made a lot of our band overcome with emotion and that was the moment when we realised that we should all be extremely proud.
In the solo bugling event, I placed 3rd, therefore received a bronze medal which feels fantastic to come away from a national competition with. However, looking aside from the competitive element of it all, I would recommend every sea cadet join a unit or massed band if possible.
It really doesn’t matter what musical capabilities you have, there is, in every band, a role for you.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and the majority of our band had no idea what they were capable of until they tried something new.
For example, my brother Leading Cadet McKenzie O only started to practice the role of being drum major a few weeks before we played at nationals, only to receive a silver medal for being the 2nd best drum major in the country.
So, you never know! Start practising and two years from now you could be at the Tower of London having so much fun! Because, in the end, no matter where anyone placed, the whole weekend was a rewarding, proud and exciting experience. And, the support, happiness and talent radiating from everyone there was the best I’ve ever seen at a Sea Cadet event.
Well done everyone!
- LC Mckenzie, Southport