LUCKY visitors both young and old enjoyed a day behind the scenes at the Royal Marines School of Music.
Tucked away in Portsmouth Naval Base is the place where members of the Royal Marines band service are trained to be world-class musicians.
And yesterday they opened the doors to their training base to a group of schoolchildren with special needs and a group of over-60s.
The guests watched the band rehearsing before getting the chance to have a go on the instruments themselves.
The Royal Marines were only too pleased to show off their skills.
Lieutenant Sam Hairsine, 33, from Gosport, is the assistant director of music training at the Royal Marines School of Music.
He said: ‘We’re part of the fabric of the nation and we’re also very much woven into the fabric of the community so this is good outreach for us.
‘We’re based behind these forbidding walls but actually we’re open to the public and whereas we usually reach out to them through concerts and parades and music making it’s nice to invite the local community in to let them see what we do in our own home town.
‘We had a great day and I know the trainees and the staff at the Royal Marines School of Music enjoyed showing the children and adults around.’
Young children from the Stepping Stones special school in Hindhead enjoyed a music workshop with the marines where they got to have a go on many of the instruments.
Louisa Hoar, a teacher at Stepping Stones school, said: ‘We had a wonderful afternoon seeing the band in action and we had a real go at all the instruments ourselves.
‘It was an uplifting and thrilling experience for all of the children.’