On Thurs 20th June, the band paid a visit to perform two 45 minute concerts on stage at Crookhorn College for various pupils from schools in the Purbrook, Waterlooville and Crookhorn area comprising of St Peters RC Primary, Morelands Primary, Purbrook Infant School, Purbrook Junior School, Springwood Infant School, Mill Hill Primary School and Crookhorn College. In total there were around 700 children attending from ages 5 to 13 !
Due to the unavailabilty of our regular Director of Music Dave Cole, we were privileged to welcome the recently appointed Director of Music at the Royal Marines School of Music Captain Matt Weites RM to conduct the proceedings. (Pictured below)
The Deputy Head of Crookhorn College, Russell Stevens, welcomed the audience and ensured the smooth running of the event as the host school.
Also in attendance was WO2 Nev Dednum RM, head of the Royal Marines Recruitment team . Nev took over the introductions to the music and explained in simple, but amusing ways exactly what it takes to play an instrument and to perhaps one day become a Royal Marines musician.
All of the schools involved were keen to provide the opportunity for children to experience a live, high quality musical performance and one which may normally be beyond the experience of many of the children. Since music and the arts form an important part of the curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities at a number of the schools involved, the headteachers and deputy headteachers were unanimous in believing many of their children could gain a great deal of enjoyment, inspiration and musical development from this opportunity.
And that was exactly the outcome:
Children could be seen smiling, clapping along, tapping their feet etc to much of the music, which was specially selected to introduce different sections of the band and individual instruments as well as big band sounds, popular film music, marches, and a concert medley of popular pieces.
One of the highlights was for the children to watch and hear our principal trumpet Jon Yates on the Posthorn. (The pic’ above shows him performing at The Great Hall Greenwich).
Once again, Jon performed the very same act to the famous tune “Post Horn Gallop.” – Jon has the incredible ability to hold a single note for as long as is necessary by the gift of circular breathing! (Few musicians have the ability to master this feat successfully!) Here he is performing at the school!
So you can imagine those children being totally mesmerised and in awe as he walked around the whole hall, up and down both aisles, out of the doors and back in again before returning to centre stage still holding that note and before finishing the piece!
Phew!! It’s exhausting enough trying to describe this feat, let alone being able to do what Jon famously does best!!
Here are a few quotes from the children themselves:
“I thought it was really clever they could play Superman”.
(One of the children was given Nev’s red uniform jacket to wear, as the band played, and delighted in walking up and down the centre aisle to show a Superman pose as she did so!)
“I liked it when they told us all the different names of the instruments they were playing.”
“The man (WO1 Nev Dednum) let me wear his jacket” said Travis “and my Mum helped conduct the band” said Ella, whose mother, an LSA at Purbrook Infants School, was called up to join in!
All in all it proved to be a very successful day for all of us and was an absolute joy to play for such an enthusiastic young audience!
Hopefully, if we have inspired just one or two to become instumentalists as a result of this visit, then it will have been very worthwhile.