THE music of the Royal Marines Band is heard all over the world – and its influence will certainly follow one military musician who has been learning from the best.
Military Expert 1 Ignatius Wang, of the Singapore Armed Forces, has been studying on the Royal Marines Band Service’s bandmaster course in Portsmouth.
The 24-year-old has made history as the first Singaporean to study with the Portsmouth-based marines.
This weekend he returns to his home to serve as a director of music.
Ignatius said: ‘We have always sent our directors of music to the Royal Military School of Music for the British Army but they decided to send me to the Royal Marines for a change.
‘There has been a lot of pressure to do well because I am not just here representing myself but also my armed forces.
‘I have had a great experience and the chance to work with one of the best bands in the world.
‘In my time here with the Royal Marines I have met some of the best musicians in the world right here and I have been taught really well.’
Ignatius’ final performance with the marines will surely stay with him for a long time to come.
Ignatius chose to perform a piece by the renowned Singaporean composer Dr Kelly Tang, Three Portraits for Symphonic Band, which was written for the 50th anniversary of military music services in the country.
And Dr Tang himself flew to the UK to see Ignatius conduct the music at St Mary’s Church in Fratton.
Ignatius told the audience: ‘It is an honour to perform in front of Dr Tang.’
The 24-year-old says he is now looking forward to embarking on his career as a director of music for the Singapore Armed Forces.
‘I am excited about going back home but it is a little daunting as well because of my age,’ he added.
‘It is unusual for someone my age to be a director of music.
‘I really enjoyed my time here and I will always be grateful to the Royal Marines for what they have done for me.’