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Royal Marines musicians prepare to go solo

Royal Marines musicians prepare to go solo
21 February 2018
Two Royal Marines musicians, based at HMS Raleigh, are preparing to play solo before an audience of thousands at this year’s Mountbatten Festival of Music.

Royal Marines musicians prepare to go soloMusicians Ruth Wardle and Sophie Perriam will be amongst the Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines for three performances at the Albert Hall on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 March.

The two musicians have each been chosen to give solo performances during the festival.  Musician Wardle is due to give a recital of ‘Meditation’ from the opera ‘Thaïs’ on the violin, while Musician Perriam will play ‘Pequena Czarda’ on the saxophone.

For Musician Wardle it will be a dream come true. The 27-year-old said: “I regularly play solos with the Plymouth band and have played this piece before, but that’s at much smaller venues, so nothing as big as this. I’m nervous, but very excited. 

“My piece is quite famous; it’s played a lot on Classic FM. I saw a violinist playing a solo at the Mountbatten Festival of Music a few years ago and knew that I wanted to be up there myself one day. 

“It’s a dream come true for me and will certainly be the pinnacle of my career so far.  It’s why I joined the Royal Marines Band Service.”

Musician Perriam, aged 30, started playing the clarinet when she joined the Band Service four years ago, but welcomes the opportunity to return to the saxophone.

She said: “I played my piece at one of our smaller concerts and a couple of the seniors in the Band put it forward to be played at the Albert Hall. It’s going to be fantastic. 

“I’m not nervous yet, but that’s because I’ve got about 10 other things on my list to do at the moment, but I will be. It’s good to have a bit of nerves, but I trust that the practice I’m doing is the right practice, so when it comes to the gig I’ll be alright.”

The Royal Albert Hall stage is hallowed ground for musicians so naturally we’re incredibly excited. We’re also hugely proud that two of our own have been selected as featured soloists

Major Huw Williams, Director of Music for the Plymouth Band

The two musicians joined the Band Service together and have been members of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth for three years. Since then they have played all over the world.

During their performances both musicians will play from memory. Musician Perriam said: “That’s the done deal at the Mountbatten Festival of Music. It’s quite a bit of practice.

“Ruth’s is about six or seven minutes of music and mine is about seven, so there’s a lot to remember. We are also doing our Masters degrees at the moment too, so we have a bit of juggling to do.”

The Mountbatten Festival of Music is the Royal Marines Band Service biggest concert of the year. This year the Bands based at Plymouth, Collingwood and Portsmouth will join together for the Massed Bands performance.

Displaying the outstanding versatility of some of the world’s finest military musicians, the festival will see the Royal Marines showcase their wide range of musical styles from music from the big screen to solos, traditional marches and overtures.

Major Huw Williams, Director of Music for the Plymouth Band, said: “Plymouth Band gets to perform in the Festival every two years, so the sense of anticipation really builds.

“The Royal Albert Hall stage is hallowed ground for musicians so naturally we’re incredibly excited. We’re also hugely proud that two of our own have been selected as featured soloists.

“As luck would have it I’m conducting the overture and solo features at this year’s festival, so for a few brief moments Plymouth band will be at the centre of it all.”

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