Harry Yarnell

Betteshanger member (Harry Yarnell) tells us how he felt when he found out he had been successful in his audition to join the Royal Marines School Music.

On the week of the 8th-12th of July, I had been on my audition to join the Royal Marines Band Service. It was the longest and hardest week of my life, and a life changing experience for me.

During the course of the week I had to sit many exams including aural exams, oral exams and elements of music exams. I had physical assessments, swimming assessments and determination tests. The physical tests consisted of a bleep test, push ups and sit ups tests and 1.5 mile run.

On the Thursday I had an interview with the Director of Music Major Jason Burcham, the Corps Bandmaster WO1 Thomas Hodge, the RMSoM Bugle Major and the Royal Marines Band Service recruitment officer. Here it was I was asked questions on the history of the Royal Marines, there military role and how I would feel being part of the Corps. I left by train for the Royal Marines School of Music, at HMS Nelson, on Monday the 8th of July, and spent four nights there, in Britannia Block, where the trainee musicians live. After four days of music exams, Physical Tests, auditions (on seven new instruments, including the bassoon) and my interview, I had one last meeting with the recruitment officer and Major Burcham, where I found out whether I had been successful or not. It was here I was the most nervous I had ever been in my life. The Major had asked me how I thought I had performed over the four days, then said he was pleased with what he had seen from me, and offered me a place on Clarinet and Viola, starting on September the 9th 2013.

I couldn’t believe I had finally achieved what I had wanted to achieve over eight years. After I left the interview room, and went outside where the other auditionees were, and they all were thrilled to bits for me getting in. After this I rang my mum and dad, my grandparents and my close friends. Everyone was over the moon for me, and everyone said they were proud of me. The whole journey back and the following days I still couldn’t believe it had happened, and that I had finally done it and will be doing what I have always wanted to do.

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