On Tuesday 21 June children from the Harbour School in Tipner paid a visit to the Portsmouth-based Royal Marines School of Music, the training home of the Royal Marines Band Service.
The 9 children and staff were given a tour of the Royal Marines School, and saw a concert band rehearsal, the Corps of Drums and took the opportunity to make as much noise as possible on various drum kits inside the Percussion Training Room.
The visit began with a walk around the private practice rooms which are housed inside the former Naval Detention Quarters which were closed in 1996 when the Royal Marines School of Music moved from Deal in Kent. There are almost 200 practice rooms, still known as cells, over three flights, and the children couldn't help but be impressed by the size of the building, and the thought of all the prisoners that were once housed there.
Throughout the visit the children had many questions. They wondered why everyone had to march, they were curious about the military rank structure, and when they discovered the long hours in a Royal Marines day they were very surprised.
The children watched more 30 trainee musicians rehearsing music from Les Miserables in the Concert Hall. After they gave a round of applause WO2 Bandmaster Tim Carter invited the children to conduct the Band, and it was probably the first time 'A Life on the Ocean Wave', performed by the Royal Marines, has ever been conducted by a 13-year-old.