The Concert Band was originally formed by a serving Fire Officer, Colin Styles, in May 1994 to augment the existing Corps of Drums. Many of the original members were serving and retired Fire & Rescue Service personnel and their families.
Since its formation, the band has represented the Fire Service at many prestigious events, including the Annual Firefighters' Memorial Service in London in 1996-1998; Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee Service in Exeter Cathedral in 2002; the 50th Anniversary Memorial Service of the Lynmouth Flood Disaster also in 2002; and the M5 Crash Memorial Service in Taunton in 2012.
Since the amalgamation of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Services in 2007, we have played at a variety of venues in both counties for a diverse range of organisations. We performed with the Mevagissey Male Voice Choir in Camborne, Cornwall in 2013 and played for the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations in St Thomas Pleasure Ground, Exeter in 2016.
In recent years, we have enjoyed playing annually at the Mayor’s Charity Concerts at Courtenay Park, Newton Abbot and at the Fire & Rescue Service Open Day at Service Headquarters, Clyst St George. During the Christmas period, we have played at the Blue Light Carol Service held in Exeter Cathedral, performed carols for Force Cancer Charity in Exeter’s historic Guildhall, and presented our own annual Christmas Concert in Budleigh Salterton and Otterton. In 2018 we enjoyed collaborating for two concerts with the East Devon Rock Choir and Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir in Exmouth and Ottery St Mary respectively.
Since July 2015, under the current direction of former Royal Marine Bandsman Martin Andrew, the band has rapidly gained a reputation as one of the best concert bands in the area. We currently have over 40 members, aged between approximately 25 and 80, from the wider communities of Devon and Somerset and, although we do not currently have any serving members from the Fire Service, we proudly represent the Fire Service in our activities and receive valued support from the Chief Fire Officer.