facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label


Mountbatten Festival of Music

Massed Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines
Conductors: Lt Col Jon Ridley, Major Huw Williams, Major Ian Davis, Captain Andy Gregory
Royal Albert Hall
Saturday 10th March

The annual Mountbatten Festival followed the usual tried and trusted format of massed bands and soloists, together with state of the art lighting and effects.  

A fourteen-strong fanfare team joined the band for the National Anthem before presenting 'Fanfare for the Fleet Commander'.  The Corps of Drums were especially good; from the precision and choreography of the drum display 'Western Front' to the impeccable bugle playing in 'Zeebrugge'.


The classics were represented by the overture 'Isabella', 'Espana Rhapsody' and 'Appalachian Spring', with some particularly delicate woodwind playing on show.

Amongst the featured soloists were Sophie Perriam (alto sax) with 'Pequena Czardas', Ruth Wardle (violin) with 'Meditation from Thais' and a humorous duet version of 'Flight of the Bumble Bee' (in costume), from Simon Topper (clarinet) and Peter Eskrett (bass clarinet).

The first half ended with 'Spectrum'; a pop medley with four first-class singers and some fine flugel playing by Steve Saleh. Meanwhile, an acoustic guitar was used effectively in 'Black is the Colour of My True Love's Hair', although elsewhere the keyboard sound was at times a little too dominant.

Rousing start

'Star Wars' made for a rousing start to the second half, with trumpets and horns to the fore, whilst 'Stairway to Heaven' began gently, with guitar, vocals and woodwinds, before building to a tremendous climax complete with electric guitar solo.  The march 'Captain General' was played in honour of Prince Harry, who was in attendance.

The finale, 'Never Forgotten', was a multi-media production commemorating the Royal Marines' involvement in the First World War. 

Starting with enlistment ('Pack up your Troubles') it continued through Gallipoli, Jutland and the Western Front, culminating in the 1918 raid on Zeebrugge. The battles were vividly depicted in music, with a solo bugle played by Ben Wheeler.

Musical tastes

A setting of 'Evening Hymn and Sunset' using the melody 'Slane' did not gel very well, and the soprano for 'Rule Britannia' appeared to miss her cue. 

However, those minor mishaps notwithstanding, it was an enjoyable evening catering for a range of musical tastes. 

John Suchet was the knowledgeable compere, and he was handed a trombone to join the band in the encore, 'Can You Feel It?'

Peter Bale

Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park - Christmas Open Evening

Thursday 18 October • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent DE13 9RN DE13 9RN

Besses o' th' Barn Band - Celebration Concert

Friday 19 October • Shaw Playhouse 2. 2 Newtown Street, Oldham Ol2 8NX

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band

Friday 19 October • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London. W1C 2DJ

Woodfalls Band - Wellstead Community Choir

Saturday 20 October • Chandlers Ford Methodist Church. Winchester Rd, Chandler's Ford, Hants SO53 2GJ

South London Fellowship Band -

Saturday 20 October • The Salvation Army. Conway Street. Hove BN3 3LA

Carlton Brass

October 19 • Carlton Brass (1st Section, Nottingham) are looking for a companion for our famous Captain Carlin. The Captain is missing his second in command, and so we require a trombonist to fill the second trom seat.

City of Bristol Brass Band

October 19 • City of Bristol Brass Band invite applications from competent kit player. Currently rehearsing for Wychavon and GBBA plus Christmas concerts, we are looking forward to a busy second year in the 1st Section.

Markham Main Colliery Band

October 18 • Markham Main Colliery Band I n Doncaster are looking for a baritone player. Rehearsals Tuesday and Friday nights in our own band room. Instrument provided if required.

Alan Widdop

Conductor, Brass teacher, Adjudicator (ABBA)