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Royal Marine Musicians perform at The Royal Albert Hall

18 March 2019
The Massed Bands of the Royal Marines have performed their annual Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall, witnessed by the Captain General of the Royal Marines, HRH The Duke of Sussex.

Raising money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), over 200 musicians took to the iconic stage to perform two hours of incredible music, this year with a special focus on commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Ridley is the Principal Director of Music and Head of the Royal Marines Band Service.

He said: “The Mountbatten Festival of Music is a great show, with variety on the menu, as ever, including the world-famous Corps of Drums, film music, as well as classical features and traditional marches.

The finale of the show is a commemoration to 75 years since D-Day, and this will undoubtedly be an emotional highlight for all.

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Ridley

“The finale of the show is a commemoration to 75 years since D-Day, and this will undoubtedly be an emotional highlight for all.”

For Colour Sergeant Graham Vaughan, Leader of the Euphonium Section from the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth, this was his final performance at the festival having performed over 20 times in the Royal Albert Hall during his 39 years in the RMBS. He said: “The buzz is still the same as when I was a youngster. This has been a phenomenal way to finish my career.”

As the ceremonial public facing arm of the Royal Navy, the RMBS has maintained its international engagement throughout 2018 and early 2019, performing around the world to represent the senior service.

In early Autumn 2018, the Scotland Band deployed on HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of Westlant 18, visiting amongst other places, Norfolk, Mayport, New York and Baltimore, supporting HMS Monmouth when their paths crossed in the latter. 

In Chile they supported First Sea Lord’s visit to the Chilean Navy as part of their bicentenary celebrations; in South Korea they performed at the International Fleet review where they supported the South Korean Navy Band in welcoming the South Korean President.

In Mexico they cultivated musical and Remembrance Day links; in Switzerland they performed for the Basel Christmas Tattoo; in Romania they performed to mark the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the nation, where the UK’s participation in the ‘100th Romanian National Day’ was vital to the UK-Romania diplomatic relationship.

Finally, in Oman small ensembles and the Corps of Drums worked with the Royal Navy of Oman; and closer to home in Cyprus and Guernsey. 

All the music performed at the festival has been produced, directed and performed by members of the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS).

Nottinghamshire born Captain Tom Crane is the Director of Music of the Royal Marines Band Collingwood.

He said: “I feel really privileged to be conducting the finest military band in the world in one of the most iconic concert venues in the world, and I am looking forward to having my family and friends in the audience to share in the experience.”

If you missed the performance and want to watch it back at home, a broadcast of the show has been published on the Royal Navy Facebook and Youtube pages.

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