Portsmouth flautist Reuben named Marines’ very best

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MUSICIAN Reuben Hanna has won top prize in the Royal Navy’s solo music competition.

The 20-year-old from the Royal Marines School of Music, has been named its Young Musician of the Year.

The annual contest is open to all trainees at the school at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Reuben, from Portsmouth, plays the flute and impressed the judges with his renditions of Fantasie Hongroise by Franz Doppler and Tuberama by Ian Clarke.

He said: ‘There was a large audience which was not good for the nerves at first.

‘But in another way it made the whole experience more enjoyable.

‘I had been practising the pieces for a few months and hoped to play to the best of my abilities on the night.

‘Winning was a bonus and I’m looking forward to continuing my studies at the school before passing out next year.

‘Thinking about long-term plans within the Royal Marines Band Service, I hope to become an established soloist, performing at concerts across the world.’

In total, 45 musicians entered the competition, which began in January but only six went through to the final, which was at the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney.

Reuben, who joined the Royal Marines School of Music in 2011, was crowned winner and is planning to continue his training until August next year.

Then he will join one of five Royal Marine bands which perform throughout the UK and abroad.

As well as being world-class musicians, members of the Royal Marine Band Service are trained to support military and humanitarian operations across the globe.

During operations they work as casualty handlers, drivers, radio operators and convoy protection.

They support troops both on the ground and at sea.