Recognised as one of the finest musical bodies in the world, The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines provides musical support for the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines on every type of occasion.
Although best known for major ceremonial events, The Royal Marines Band – immaculately turned out ranks of white helmets and blue uniforms, playing and marching in perfect time behind the magnificent drummers and the Drum Major – each of the bands which make up the Service has to perform as an orchestra and a dance band as well as a military band. Their repertoire covers every category of music. They can provide anything from full orchestra down to jazz, pop and folk groups – and always to the highest standard.
The Royal Marines Band is a unique musical blend of versatility, talent and traditions, on top of which is has an important medical and military role as part of a fighting force.
In Concert, the Bands of HM Royal Marines perform all over the UK and indeed the world. The musicians have a hectic programme, often with two or more appearances daily. They could be on parade on in concert or at many of the demanding ceremonial occasions.
One of the important dates on the calendar is The Mountbatten Festival of Music when the Massed Bands come together at the Albert Hall in London, normally in February, to raise funds for the Malcolm Sergeant Cancer Fund for Children as well as Royal Navy and Royal Marine charities.
The origins of the Royal Marines Band Service go back to the days of Drake and Hawkins when drummers signalled the ‘changing watches’ or ‘beat the men to quarters’. In the six companies of the Duke of York and Albany’s Regiment of Foot – the forerunners of the Royal Marines – which were raised in 1664 – the Colour and the Drum provided a rallying point in close battle. This is why even today it is the drums and bugles of the Royal Marines Buglers Branch which lead the band on parade.
The Branch has its own distinct identity. It has a different uniform – buglers wear a thin red stripe down their trousers as opposed to the broad stripe worn by musicians.