The History of The Band of the Royal Marines
With so much rich history, precision and pageantry associated with the upcoming production of the The Band of the Royal Marines And The Pipes, Drums, and Highland Dancers of the Scots Guards, we thought it was great to start at the very beginning and relive the history of two of these prestigious regiments.
The Pipes & Drums of The Scots Guards were formed in 1642 by the Marquis of Argyll to act as a royal bodyguard to King Charles I.
Although very much part of the fabric of the Regiment there is no mention of Pipers in the Scots Guards before 1704. Queen Anne authorized the formation of a Highland Company of Scots Guards, which was to include one Piper.
Pipers continued to serve with the Regiment but purely in a private capacity funded by the Officer Commanding each Company. In 1836 the War Office officially recognized Pipers in the Regiment when each Battalion was established for one Pipe Major and five Pipers. Today, in addition to their musical role, pipers and drummers are fully operational Infantry Soldiers and carry out the roles of Infantry Assault Engineers and Tactical Intelligence Specialists. On operations or training the tradition continues with each Company having at least one Piper attached to it.
The uniforms of the regiment are purposefully meaningful with colors and fabrics delineating roles in the company.
Today all Royal Marines Bands are required to provide every imaginable musical ensemble including orchestras and dance bands. To achieve this, most musicians, except solo specialists, are required to attain a high standard on both a string and a wind instrument.
As a result of this special amalgam of expertise, Royal Marines Musicians are regarded as one of the most versatile in the military musical world. The Corps of Drums receive an equally thorough training and pride themselves on maintaining the highest standards of drill, bugling and drumming. Their glittering presence at the front of all Royal Marines Bands on the march gives the bands a visual impact that is second to none.
In addition to music making, Royal Marines Musicians and Buglers are trained for a specific military role. Royal Marines Bands were involved in both the Falklands conflict and Operation Granby in the Gulf.
In the latter part of 1998, Scotland Band were deployed in HMS Ocean and assisted in relief work in Nicaragua and Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.
More recently the RMBS distinguished themselves on both Operation Fresco (Fire Strike) and Operation Telic (Iraq) in 2003.
See these groups perform on Monday, Feb. 8 at the Center. Tickets are still available; get yours today!