Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Young talent in tune with Royal Marines Band

9 August 2016
Talented young musicians from across the region have been in tune with the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth this week.

Over 30 young people signed up to take part in a four-day summer school held at HMS Raleigh. The summer school programme featured a series of workshops to allow the young people to experience a range of ensembles, from the iconic marching band to the symphonic wind band. It culminated with a joint concert performed for family and friends at the Roebuck Theatre within HMS Raleigh.

Tom Dawson, from Plymouth, was one of the youngest musicians taking part. The 11-year-old has been playing the trumpet for five years and was joined by his brothers, Will, aged 15, and Oscar, aged 12 for the programme.  

Tom said, “My dad plays the trumpet and he inspired me to play. It’s been really fun and enjoyable this week.  I’ve learnt how to play differently and made lots of friends. I want to play in a band and teach people how to play the trumpet. I’m going to practise a bit more now and see what happens.”  

Josie Whale, from Launceston, was chosen to play a solo during a piece of music on the French horn.

The 17-year-old said, “I’ve been playing this instrument for just under two years. My sister, Holly, is here too and she plays the trombone. I go to a music school and I do solos all the time with my symphony orchestra, so I’m used to it. I didn’t think I’d get nervous, but every time I’ve got up during practise my heart beats a tiny bit faster.”

We wanted to encourage young musicians from around the local area to come and enjoy making music with a professional band

Major Richard Long, Director of Music of the Plymouth Band

This was the second year the Band has organised a summer school for young people. Lewis Waldron, aged 14, from Ivybridge was one of a number of people returning.  

He said, “It was good fun last year and I got a lot of good experiences from it. This is a re-cap of what we did then. I want to do music as a career, but I’m not sure how yet. I’ve been playing the saxophone for four years. I also play the clarinet and piano.”

The young people weren’t asked to audition for the summer school, but needed to be able to play and read music.  

Major Richard Long, Director of Music of the Plymouth Band said, “We wanted to encourage young musicians from around the local area to come and enjoy making music with a professional band. Secondly it’s important for us to demonstrate what we do on a daily basis as part of the Royal Navy because we are always looking for young talented, enthusiastic musicians, who might be interested in a career in the Royal Marines Band Service.

"Hopefully the young people have learnt an enormous amount during their week with us. We’ve been playing different styles of music with them, everything from Latin/Brazilian music through to military music on parade, so different styles, different techniques and plenty of variety.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.