Volunteer Band Success

  • Author: admin
  • Date: Friday 3rd August 2012
Volunteer Band Success Volunteer Band Success

The Britannia Royal Naval College Volunteer Band (BRNC) were awarded the top prize at this year’s annual Royal Navy Volunteer Band Festival held at HMS Collingwood in Hampshire.The competition saw in total nine bands from other shore establishments and ships in several different musical categories, which included a marching display and a concert programme staged in the establishment’s Millennium Hall.

The Drum Major, Hannah Balcombe, carried the beautiful Band Masters Staff presented by the Britannia Association in December last year with extreme skill and panache which belied her recent involvement in the role. Until three-months ago Hannah played the bass clarinet when the band was marching.
Dartmouth’s Band returned home to Devon with three prizes,  the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy, for the best overall band in the competition, the Willis Trophy, awarded for the best marching display, and the Lea Wilkinson Dirk Trophy, recognising the best concert band performance.

Led by Phil Watson, BRNC’s band was formed in 2009 and is made up of 55 musicians, the majority of whom are former members of the Royal Marines Band Service and the Army Band Service.Phil said:  “From forming just three years ago, it’s a tremendous achievement to win the top three awards at this year’s festival.  The band pulled out all the stops on the day.   We are fortunate that due to the quality of our musicians we have the ability to perform at a reasonably high level.  Our next major engagement will be at the National Cycle race as it comes through Dartmouth on the 15 September.  We will then be giving a concert performance on 25 September in Saint Saviours Church Dartmouth and are very much looking to performing in our home town.”

The Band were supported during the festival by Commander Jason Phillips, the Commander of BRNC.  Prizes were presented by the President of the Volunteer Band Association, Vice Admiral Sir Charles Montgomery, Chief of Naval Personnel and Training and Second Sea Lord.

Festival organiser Warrant Officer Tom Hodge, of the Royal Marines Band Service, said: “This annual music festival has grown and is now a truly musical extravaganza. It is great to witness fellow musicians in a friendly environment competing for supremacy

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