Royal reward for tuneful Laura

A SOLDIER and bridetobe from Dewsbury has become one of the first to pass out from a prestigious military bandmaster course.
The Bandmaster course, named in honour of the Countess of Wessex, is one of the toughest but most soughtafter for army musicians.
WO1 Bandmaster Laura Stead, 32, a former student at Heckmondwike Grammar School, is one of the elite few who qualifies to lead military musicians across the globe.
Laura, whose parents Norman and Janet now live in Batley, was one of only five Bandmasters to pass out of the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall in Twickenham this year.
She did so whilst also arranging her wedding to fellow Army musician Russell Dancket next month.
During the intense threeyear course, the musicians have to complete an honours degree in music from Kingston University in Surrey and attain the military qualifications that will fasttrack them to the highest rank of a noncommissioned officer in the British Army.
Laura, who began the course as a newlypromoted corporal, said: “It feels really, really good to have passed the course. It has been a long three years but receiving my certificate from the Countess of Wessex was a great moment. We’ve been waiting for this for the past three years.”
Sophie Wessex, who is married to Prince Edward, took on the role of ColonelinChief for the Corps of Army Music in 2007. The students were presented to Countess Wessex at a private ceremony.
Laura will return to Kneller Hall, where she has been training for the last three years, for her September wedding.
“I have a real affinity with the place,” she said. “It’s a beautiful building, the chapel is gorgeous and the grounds are lovely.”
Trying to finish the Bandmaster course has meant that some details for the wedding are still to be set but not the music.
“The music we have got sorted,” said Laura.
“It’s probably one of the main things we focused on.”

Share this post