Royal Hospital School Band play at Young Musicians' Concert with Royal Marines School of Music
The Royal Hospital School Band were invited to take part in a Young Musicians' concert with the Royal Marines School of Music playing alongside professional musicians and further strengthening the school's links with the Royal Navy.
We left for Portsmouth on the Friday evening and stayed on board HMS Bristol. This was a great experience and we really felt as though we were part of the Royal Navy; cold showers, rock solid mattresses and endless head bumping!
The next morning we had an early start, but were compensated by a beautiful sunrise over Portsmouth Harbour and a glimpse of the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. We ate a hearty English breakfast to set us up for the day and then took the short coach journey to the Royal Marines School of Music, the training facility for the Royal Marines Band. On the way there, we picked up last year's band members; Rebecca Ashton Beck and Ben Banks, who accompanied us as part of the brass section to help support the younger members of the band.
On arrival were treated to a tour of the complex which is a repurposed prison block from the 20th century where cells serve as individual practice rooms for trainees. Rehearsals began soon after and we split into our separate sections consisting of woodwind, brass and percussion. Workshop pieces included a Pirates of the Caribbean medley, Seal's Lullaby and the more contemporary Camilla Cabello's Havana, which acted as an upbeat contrast to the more classic pieces.
After lunch the sections came together for a full concert band rehearsal. At first, the sound needed some refinement as some sections were rather loud. After a lot of practice, the sound became richer as each section was taught to listen to each other's parts by our band leader for the day, Lt. Crane.
Many of our parents came to watch the final performance of our repertoire as well as one of our former teachers and 'RHS old boy' Monty Callow who told us lots of interesting facts about the links which existed between RHS and the Marines. The music was of a very high standard and was thoroughly enjoyed by the pupils, Marines and audience present.
It was an experience thoroughly enjoyed by all and we were really grateful to have this inspiring opportunity. Next year we hope to schedule a workshop and full concert with the Royal Marines Training Band at RHS which should be a spectacular occasion!
Giles W and Saffy H
Head and Deputy Head of Band