The Military Band of the Korean People’s Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Colonel Ri Ung Sik, Head of the Band and People’s Artist of the DPRK.
The history of the Military Band of the People’s Army of the DPRK dates back to February 23 of 1946 when its predecessor, the Band of the Military School of Pyongyang, was formed. In 1954 the school band was reformed into the Military Band of the Ministry of National Defense and in 1972 — into the Military Band of the Korean People’s Army. In 1974 another reform followed that passed the band over to the control of the Supreme Command. But in July 1998 the group regained its name and status of the Military Band of the Korean People’s Army.
At present, the Military Band of the Korean People’s Army is engaged in all major state events both internally and externally providing musical accompaniment. Compositions belonging to the specific style of the patriotic song called taejung kayo occupy an important place in the band’s repertoire. They express the invincible spirit and might of the Korean People’s Army. The evolvement of this genre is closely related to names of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, both leaders of North Korea, as well as to the name of Kim Won Gyun, a North Korean composer who in 1946 composed Song of General Kim Il Sung.
Many of the band’s members have gone through the Russian school of wind music which is greatly appreciated in the DPRK as they received training by Russian specialists who work in the country under the contract.
In 2012 the band took part in the First Amur Waves International Military Music Festival among countries of the
In 2015 it once again took part in the Festival.
The Military Band of the Korean People’s Army will for the first time take part in the Spasskaya Tower International Military Tattoo on Red Square.