Australian Army Band Corps

The Australian Army Band Corps (AABC) is the Australian Army's musical branch. It is roughly the equivalent of the Music Branch (Canadian Forces) and the Corps of Army Music of the British Army. The Corps was formed on 2 August 1968 and provides the Army with musical support and seeks to improve the Army's public image.[3] It consists of 11 individual bands; five full-time and six part-time which are located in the capital city of each state as well as the regional cities of Wagga Wagga, Townsville, and Newcastle.

Australian Army Band Corps
Australian Army Band Kapooka 1.jpg
Australian Army Band, Kapooka.
Active2 August 1968–present
Country Australia
Branch Australian Army
MarchThe Minstrel Boy[1]
AnniversariesAugust 2
Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Pickett[2]
AABC battledress flash.Australian Army Band Corps battledress flash.png

The band’s mission is to support land operations and strategy through military and community engagement.[4][5]


After World War II there was a need to make an assessment of the state of Army Bands. In 1951, Captain R.A. Newman was appointed the first Director of Music and in 1953 an Army School of Music was established to provide standardized formal training for Army musicians. Until 1961, Newman held the concurrent roles of Director of Music and Commanding Officer of the Army School of Music. In the 1960s focus centered on the conversion from brass band to military band instrumentation. First with the Band of the Royal Military College in 1964, all Regular Army bands were converted to this new format by 1974. Prior to the formation of the (AABC), Army musicians were held on the Royal Australian Infantry Corps Special List. It was the ambition of senior band personnel to have the specialization of music recognized by the creation of a corps. This goal was realized on 2 August 1968 with the establishment of the AABC, the first of its type in the world. After the creation of the AABC, bands previously belonging to infantry battalions were reassigned to become area bands and were affiliated with particular host corps.[6]

Three of the now former bands were recognized by the granting of Freedom of Entry to their units:

  • 1MD Band (AAB Brisbane) – City of Brisbane in 1988
  • 1MD Band (AAB Brisbane) – City of Gold Coast in 1989
  • 1MD Band (AAB Brisbane) – Shire of Redland in 1989


Former bands in the ArmyEdit

Historical military bands in the AABC include:[7]

AABC AssociationEdit

The AABC Association originated from an idea expressed at the opening of the J.J. Shelton Band Centre at the Army Recruit Training Centre in March 1987. The association organized its first meeting on 10 June 1989, during which it was formally established. Since then the association has held reunions throughout Australia every year, growing to be an organization parallel to the Returned and Services League of Australia.[10]

The goals of the association include the following:

  • The communication between all former members of Army bands through personal contact and annual reunions
  • To foster the development of relations between former and current serving members of the AAVC.
  • To support the activities of the AABC

The AABC Association was incorporated in Victoria on 5 October 2004. The association is led by an Executive Committee which is composed of a President, a Vice President and a Secretary.[11]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Australian Army Band Corp". Australian Army. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
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  10. ^
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External linksEdit

Preceded by
Australian Army Psychology Corps
Australian Army Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps