The Royal Barbados Police Band has been a prominent musical group in Barbados since its foundation in 1835 and is one of the oldest police bands in the world. Police bands are common throughout the Anglophone Caribbean, and are known for playing a wide variety of Caribbean music, as well as marches and popular songs.
When the RBPF was first established it was with a complement of 19 serving Policemen. At that time they wore regulation police uniforms, and their selection was due to the love for music and the knowledge of the art.
The first Bandmaster was Mr. Willocks who came to the Island with the 2nd. Battalion of the West Riding Regiment, as its Bandmaster.
In 1914, Major Emmanuel Bennernagel of the British Guiana Militia Band was appointed as Bandmaster, and took it on its first overseas tour to St. Lucia in 1945.
Captain Charles E. Raison, A.R.C.M replaced Mr. Bennernagel in 1946, and since then the band has had a number of Directors of Music which included, Lt. William Griesley, L.R.A.M., Lt. Joseph Griffith, L.R.A.M. Mr. Prince Cave, A.R.C.M., Mr. Gordon Lovell, L.R.S.M. L.T.C.L. and Mr. Kenrick Moore, L.T.C.L., A.V.C.M.
In 1967 the music of the Barbados National Anthem was re-arranged by Inspector Prince Cave. He gave the Anthem a more sustained harmony while at the same time retaining the original tune. Christopher Atherly, currently the director of the Royal Barbados Police Band is also an excellent clarinetist, having studied with Professor Sherman Friedland, Chair of the Music Department of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, which Mr Atherly received a degreem from in the late 1980s. He was an outstanding student and performed in many recital and concerts while a student at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
In 1984 the Band included its first three young ladies - Yolande Bourne, Dorian Seale and Juan Walrond, broking a traditionally male dominated department.
In November 1991, Dr. Senior/Supt. Christopher Archibald Atherley, S.C.M., was promoted to the rank of S/Supt. and appointed Director of Music, of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.
The Band today is made up of 54 Officers, men and women, along with 10 band apprentices and tours extensively, visiting countries like England, Scotland, Virgin Islands, Suriname, St. Kitts, Grenada, Canada and Germany to name a few.