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Director of Music

Major Tony Smallwood joined the Royal Marines Band Service as a cornet and piano player in 1983 and on completion of training was drafted to the Plymouth Band. His hard work came to fruition when he was offered the position of pianist on the Royal Yacht Britannia, traveling extensively throughout the world.

Major Tony Smallwood

He was promoted to Captain in 2002 after completing officer training at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon. Before taking up his appointment in June 2004 as Director of Music, Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland, Tony studied conducting at post-graduate advanced level under Peter Stark and Simon Young at Trinity College of Music in London; on completion of his studies, Tony was awarded with the Ricordi Conducting Prize.

During his tenure as Director of Music of the Scotland Band, Tony took the Band abroad on several occasions, including playing a major role in the Edinburgh Tattoo both in Edinburgh and Sydney, Australia. He recorded a CD entitled ‘Victory in Europe’ to mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World war which sold thousands of copies, and at the same time raised money for the Royal British Legion. Tony’s second recording featured one of his favourite genres, the Big Band. The ‘Live! At the Carnegie Hall’ recording was an instant success selling out almost as soon as it went on sale. His three years in Scotland saw many high profile engagements with musicians and celebrities including Katherine Jenkins and Jane McDonald, and culminated in Tony being awarded a distinction as Master of Music (Conducting).

Tony moved back to Portsmouth to the RM Band Service Headquarters in 2007. After being selected for promotion to Major in February 2008, he was invited to return to Sydney for four months as the Musical Director of the Royal Australian Navy Band, which was a huge privilege and a great experience. Tony is also recognised as an experienced arranger and has arranged many pieces for the annual Massed Bands Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall.

His current position as Director of Music of the Portsmouth Band sees him fulfill a long-held ambition, and he is very proud to lead such an outstanding Band.

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