2022 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Mountbatten Festival of Music, featuring the massed bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines at the Royal Albert Hall. The event is held annually in support of several important charities, including the Royal Marines Charity. In this special year of the Festival, the event celebrated the proud history of the Royal Marines Bands; the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands War.
The Plaisterers support this annual Festival by taking a box in the Royal Albert Hall and those who have attended this event over the years will tell what an amazing evening it is and this year was no exception. Indeed, it was extra memorable because of the anniversaries it was celebrating and the fact that it had not been held since 2018.
Throughout the evening we felt the full force of the Massed Bands and Corps of Drums. Who could possibly forget the Drum Static ‘The Last Stand’ The programme told us it was inspired by a WW11 prisoner of war, who when asked how had he survived said ‘You only fail if you quit’
We were treated to a specially composed Platinum Jubilee fanfare and a unique version of the Dire Straits song, Brothers in Arms, a personal favourite of mine. Lighter moments came in the form of a tribute to Sir Elton John, a version of I Feel Pretty and the blues number At Last. The finale was a combination of music and film through the history of the Royal Marines Bands, including film footage from the Falklands War and on board the Royal Yacht Brittannia. Those favourites, Heart of Oak, Sarie Marais and A Life on the Ocean Wave had our feet tapping, hands clapping and our emotions flowing.
The Master was delighted to host Liverymen and Freemen of the Company and their partners. The photo was taken at the end of the evening by the Clerk, when we had just managed to consume all the light refreshments on offer.