The Band of HM Royal Marines Commando Training Centre
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Commando Training Centre Royal Marines is one of five Royal Marines Bands based around the United Kingdom.
It can trace its direct historical lineage to 1767 and has changed both home and name several times. As a mark of its succession the Band wear a unique cap badge that includes the Prince of Wales’ Plumes awarded to the Plymouth Divisional Band by His Royal Highness in 1920 following a most successful tour of Australasia and the Pacific Islands.
The Band’s principal role is to provide musical support of the highest professional standard to the Naval Service. They can perform in a wide variety of differing musical combinations that include parade band, wind band, symphony orchestra, big band, dance band, jazz band, Corps of Drums and a number of small chamber groups. The players are amongst the most versatile in the world and are appreciated not only for the visual splendour of their ceremonial uniform, with distinctive white helmets, but also for their superb musicianship.
The Band is continually called upon for musical support and engagements can range from parades, mess functions, television and radio broadcasts, recordings, major sporting events and charity fund raising concerts to overseas deployments. Their work abroad may include a requirement to accompany members of the Royal family, support trade delegations or being embarked in a Royal Naval warship for the many amphibious exercises that are undertaken around the globe. A defining moment in recent history was made when in July 2005 the band participated in the high profile VE / VJ Parade in London. The image of the Band marching down The Mall behind Her Majesty the Queen just three days after the London bombings sent out a singularly British message to the whole world.
The Band has a key military role in the event of hostilities. Whilst not commando trained, since the formation of the ‘modern’ Royal Marines Band Service in 1903, ranks from the Royal Marines Bands have undertaken a variety of roles by sea and land on active service in almost every operation involving the Royal Marines from the First and Second World Wars right up until operations in the Falklands, Gulf, Kosovo, Iraq, Cyprus and Afghanistan. Fire fighting duties in both 1977 and 2002 - 03 can also be added to the list of tasks performed by the multi-faceted Band Service. Most recently, in 2011 the Band provided 40 musicians and buglers to act as drivers, radio operators and team medics in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan for Operation Herrick 14. During this 6 month deployment the members of the Band handled over 2,500 casualties and undoubtedly helped to save the life, limb and sight of many injured personnel.
All members of the band have trained at the Royal Marines School of Music, currently based in Portsmouth, and musicians have to pass an arduous two years and eight months training programme with all higher level examinations set and marked by recognised external examination boards. Most have to master at least two instruments with some being required to play three in order to meet the many different musical demands. The school is now degree accredited through the University of Portsmouth, and trainees have the opportunity to study for the award of a Bachelor of Music Honours Degree.
The Royal Marines Band Service recruits fit male and female musicians between the ages of 16 and 28 each year, and potential candidates should contact their local Armed Forces Careers office for information.
CTC Band in the Millennium Stadium
The Band's Cap Badge
Last updated 20 Sept 2011