Because I seem to be incapable of going out without passing through the Domplein, we were lucky enough to come across a performance by the Fanfarekorps Der Genie (Engineers Regiment Fanfare Corps) on Sunday afternoon. We had just begun to approach Achter De Dom when we suddenly heard the sound of drums. There, behind the cathedral, they began to perform and we raced up to get a good view and listen.
Per the Corps’ website:
In 1888 the Royal Dutch Army Engineers Regiment Music Corps was first formed by NCOs and volunteer soldiers in the city of Utrecht. Now, 118 years later, volunteers from the Engineers Regiment again uphold the musical tradition of the Engineers Regiment (1748 – 2006).
Due to a re-organization within the defense department, the “Engineers Regiment Fanfare Corps” was disbanded. At the beginning of 1997 the idea occurred to breathe new life into the “extinct” music corps. After discussions with the headquarters of the Engineers Regiment Corps, we started to correspond with almost all of those earlier recruits of the Engineers Regiment Fanfare Corps.
In September 1997, the first meeting was held at the “Lunetten Barracks” in the town of Vught, a terrain well-known to us. From this moment, the band was named “Old Members of the Engineers Regiment Fanfare Corps”
Presently, the band consists of 50-65 musicians, all dressed in the historical 1888 uniform.
As we were watching, we couldn’t help noticing two women in their ranks with small casks. It seems that it is a tradition that a small tot of brandy be poured from the cask carried on shoulder straps by the serving girls. Special guests are now usually the recipients of the glass of brandy. The group also sells special bottles of the brandy to help raise money for uniform maintenance.