Treats in store for veterans at military show

The finale of the South Coast proms in 2011
The finale of the South Coast proms in 2011
A Royal Navy shot of a helicopter winching exercise

Navy aircrewman hits milestone on city ship

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THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to flock to the South Coast Proms.

But now organisers of the military music show are offering free tickets to veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic in the hope even more will go along.

As previously reported in The News, the event at Whale Island on July 5 and 6 will feature performances by 100 musicians from the combined Royal Marines Bands of Portsmouth and HMS Collingwood.

Event organiser Captain Steve Green, said an extra treat is also in store for ex-service personnel.

‘It will be a real privilege to make contact with veterans and give them an opportunity to witness behind the scenes rehearsals for the Proms and visit our superb School of Music in Portsmouth,’ he said.

‘It would be great if this appeal was also able to help us locate a bandsman who is a veteran of the Battle of Atlantic. Members of the Royal Naval Band Service served onboard during both world wars, often working within transmitting stations as well as providing musical support to the ship’s company.’

The three-hour show includes a new arrangement of the Battle of the Atlantic Suite by Warrant Officer Bandmaster Ivan Hutchinson, Chief Instructor at the Royal Marines School of Music.

The new version, which was originally written by Dave Roylance and Bob Galvin, has been arranged especially for this year’s commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the battle.

Warrant Officer Hutchinson added: ‘It was a real honour to be asked by the Principal Director of Music Royal Marines to arrange this stirring piece especially for use by the massed bands during this important year.

‘Its first performance at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this year was very special.

‘The performance at the home of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth will be unforgettable, especially given the fantastic video projection that really adds to the performance.’

Veterans of the Battle of Atlantic - either bandsmen or sailors - who are able to attend the Proms should contact the Massed Bands event office on 023 9254 7203.

Tickets are available at southcoastproms.com