IT IS no exaggeration to say the Royal Marines Band Service has some of the best musicians in the world.
But music students at Bay House School in Gosport were undaunted by the task of taking up seats among the marines of the Portsmouth band for a personal masterclass.
The Royal Marines musicians visited the school to perform for the students and talk to them about life in the service.
Not ones to pass up an opportunity to learn from the best, the students then sat among the band and joined them in performances of the Pirates of the Caribbean and Avengers Assemble theme songs.
Under the direction of Captain Daryl Powell, the director of music of the Portsmouth band, they breezed through the tunes, including various solos, before finally giving a performance in front of their parents.
George Lewis, 17, conducted the band for one piece.
George, pictured inset with the conductor’s baton, said: ‘I couldn’t believe they let me conduct the Royal Marines Band.
‘It was amazing. It didn’t quite sink in at the time.
‘But hearing them perform was incredible and it’s great that they would come and do this for us.
‘A career in the Royal Marines Band Service is definitely something I am considering now.’
At the start of the workshop, the Royal Marines performed for the students in various ensembles, including the function band. In stark contrast to the ceremonial music the students might have typically associated the band with, the marines breezed through covers of Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk and Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off.
They then spoke to the students about life in the Royal Marines Band Service and about the training they receive to reach their world-class status.
Capt Powell said: ‘This visit was about us giving something back to the community and encouraging more people to look at the Royal Marines Band Service as a career option.
‘It’s a good chance to dispel a few myths about the band service and show them a different side of us to what they might have in their minds.’