The Royal Marines Band Service

Vocation, duty, honour.

This is music with purpose.

Musical
Excellence.
It's in
our veins.

Boosting morale – on and off the stage

How many musicians can say they’ve played to a packed house at the Royal Albert Hall? Or performed for the Queen and other leading global dignitaries?

We can – the Royal Marines Band Service. We are one of the world’s most versatile military bands, combining a commitment to excellence, discipline and an active life supporting our forces.

I wanted to combine my love of music with my love of sport. I get all that – and I get paid to do it.

Jennifer, Musician

Making music is just the beginning

History

A long tradition of musical distinction

Even before the days of Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada, music has played a key role in our military. Keeping units marching in step, boosting morale and performing at ceremonial or state occasions. To this day, we still maintain this role, combined with a vital operational function: providing military support to the Royal Marines.

  • 1903

    The original Royal Marines Band Service is founded to provide bands for the Royal Navy with just 34 members.

  • 1905

    The Band Service’s reputation spreads, and it undertakes a Royal tour of India and Burma on HMS Renown.

  • 1927

    The Royal Tour of Australia by the Duke and Duchess of York is accompanied by musicians from the RMBS.

  • 1950

    The Divisional Bands come together with the Royal Naval School of Music to form what we know as the Royal Marines Band Service.

  • 1992

    Women can now join the Royal Marines Band Service.

  • 1998

    Scotland Band deployed in HMS Ocean to bring relief to Nicaragua and Honduras after hurricane Mitch.

  • 2003

    Took part and distinguished ourselves on Operation Fresco (Fire Strike) and Operation Telic (Iraq).

Purpose

A hybrid force

What we do isn’t just for Queen and country. It’s for the effectiveness of the Royal Marines in the field, for the morale of the troops, the entertainment of the public – and the development of some of the country’s finest young musicians.

I joined a local marching band at 11 years old. In 1999 I saw the Royal Marines Band Service properly for the first time and realised that it would be my dream job. It’s lived up to all my expectations.

Joanne, Bugler

Musical

Play for the crowd

We hold a special position among military bands. Our rigorous musical training at the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSoM) in Portsmouth and our signature precision marching has seen us perform at prestigious venues and events across the UK and around the world. From the Royal Albert Hall and Horse Guards Parade in London, to the military tattoo in Basel, Switzerland, and other engagements across the globe.
The biggest musical challenge is playing at a consistently high level in front of the public, heads of state, royalty and foreign dignitaries.

Matt, Musician

Operational

Military support

When we’re called on, we set aside our instruments to provide military support on operations. As part of a medical team on board a casualty receiving ship, or supporting 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, our military role is just as vital as our musical one.
When we join, we’re clearly informed about the Royal Marines Band Service’s musical and military roles – and that they go hand in hand with each other.

Ann, Musician