NATIONAL BRASS BAND
The National Brass Band is the musical group of the SPDF. Its origins date back as far as 1925, when the Mariste Brothers of the Roman Catholic Mission formed what was known then as the Brass Ensemble. At the time, the Brothers themselves trained musicians to play the various instruments and to read music.
In 1943 the band was dissolved and the instruments were bought by a group of soldiers in the British Amiv, based at Bel Eau. This led to the formation of a military band, but after the second world war it was disbanded and the instruments were acquired by the Seychelles Scout Association. Later still, the instruments were sold to the Roman Catholic Church, where a professional musician and Capucin monk encouraged young Seychellois to form an ensemble. As a result, a new brass band came into being, known as LAFANSA. Meanwhile, a police band was also started, to be augmented in due course by some of the LAFANSA musicians who made it possible to form a combined Police Band.
In 1981 with the establishment of the Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Police Band was reorganised into the National Brass Band. This was shortly thereafter re-named the National Band, under the patronage of the Ministry of Education (Culture Division) with Mr. Antoinc Azcmia as its Conductor. From 1981 to 1996, the musicians of the National Band were employed on a part-time basis. Later, some full-time musicians were recruited and in 1999, the National Band was transferred to the Ministry of Defence and based at the Seychelles Defence Academy.
Mr. Thomas Busanya was appointed Conductor in 2001. Two years later, with the introduction of the International Music (burses conducted by the Association of the Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), most of the musicians of the National Brass Band managed to obtain music certificates in theory and practice.