High praise for Royal Marines Band following performance in front of Prince Harry

Prince Henry attends the Royal Albert Hall for the 46th Mountbatten Music Festival.
Prince Henry attends the Royal Albert Hall for the 46th Mountbatten Music Festival.
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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SKILLED musicians from the Portsmouth School of the Royal Marines Band performed for His Royal Highness Prince Harry.

The Massed Bands of the Royal Marines took centre stage for the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday.

Prince Harry attended the show in his first official outing as Captain General Royal Marines after succeeding the role from the Duke of Edinburgh in December last year.

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Ridley, principal director of Music Royal Marines, said the performance surpassed everyone’s expectations.

‘I am immensely proud to be performing alongside the outstanding men and women of the Royal Marines Band Service,’ he said.

‘They are, in my opinion, the best military musicians in the world.

‘I believe the thousands of people who have enjoyed the Mountbatten Festival of Music will agree.

‘As their new principal director of music, it falls to me to lead an organisation with a world-class reputation and I truly believe the Mountbatten Festival of Music, now in its 46th year, has surpassed all expectations.’

As well as the honour of Prince Harry’s attendance, the head of the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, was also present.

The band wowed the crowds with is range of music styles and genres and its accompanying lighting effects and video productions.

The performance had tunes from movies and solo pieces as well as the traditional marches and overtures.

They also performed their world-famous Royal Marines Corps of Drums.

As previously reported in The News, Ferneham Hall, in Fareham, was used as a practice space last week in preparation for Saturday night’s performance.

Speaking at the time, musician Owen Muir, who is nearing the end of his training at the Royal Marines School of Music, in Portsmouth, said: ‘I’m feeling excited and trepidatious.

‘But I am really looking forward to it. It’s a massive stage and it’s fantastic that we’re able to perform on it.’

The 26-year-old played a range of percussion instruments at the festival.