What better way to mark the 351st Anniversary of The Royal Marines than with a fitting tribute concert by the Royal Marines Association Concert Band at the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea on 28th October 2015. Packed tightly into the band’s magnificent rehearsal room (arguably the world’s finest!), the large audience were aptly treated to a nautically themed concert by the band, ably supported by their guests for the occasion, The Corps of Drums from The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook and their Bandmaster and ex RM Director of Music, Richard Harvey.
The impressive drum static performed by the young drummers set the tone of the concert which included other notable solos by members of the Royal Marines Association Concert Band. Steve Tanner provided a slick, virtuoso-style performance of The Shanghai Sailor on piccolo whilst Tim Mulkern contrasted with a beautifully lyrical arrangement of Nessun Dorma on trumpet. Later, Rodney Preston performed a moving rendition of Ashokan Farewell on violin whilst Tony handed the baton to Richard Harvey, who directed the band in a special request piece, Irish Tune from County Derry.
The concert, however, was significantly marked by real moments of poignance. The closing piece of the first half, an arrangement of Final Countdown and Love Changes Everything, recalled the 11 Royal Marines musicians who tragically lost their lives at the time of the IRA bombing in Deal on 22nd September 1989. Later in the second half, HMS Trinidad March was followed by an original composition in words and music Am Sailing to Westward by Richard Harvey, which movingly depicts the fateful story of HMS Trinidad.
Overall a perfectly programmed concert of tribute, remembrance and celebration!