The Northwood Headquarters Royal Naval Volunteer Band was formed in 1997 and comprises an eclectic mix of serving, former serving and civilian members from the unit and local community. The band prides itself in participating in a wide variety of engagements not only to support the establishment and local area but also around the UK.
Boasting a broad scope of music, from military marches and classical overtures to film scores and music from the West End, the repertoire is constantly refreshed with new and challenging pieces. Although well-subscribed, Northwood HQ Volunteer Band is always seeking new musicians to enhance its vibrant and enthusiastic membership.
The Band has had a full-time bandmaster from the Royal Marines Band Service since 1999 and its current incumbent, Band Colour Sergeant Dan Button, has been with the band since September 2015.
Bandmaster - Dan Button
Born into a musical family in Scunthorpe on 26th July 1982, Dan moved to Hull and started playing the recorder at the age of 5. Taught initially by his father, and later by Colin Honor, Dan quickly developed his skills on the clarinet. He was awarded 93% for the LLCM diploma in performance aged 13 and was subsequently awarded the FLCM when he was 15.
Following this period he was awarded the prize for ‘most promising young musician’ under the Shell/LSO Scholarship scheme. After playing with county bands and orchestras, Dan became the principal clarinetist with the Yorkshire Youth Orchestra, performing a successful series of concerts as a soloist in the 1999 Edinburgh Festival. Dan joined the Royal Marines Band Service in September 2000 and has worked as a solo clarinetist in bands based in Portsmouth, Collingwood, Plymouth, Lympstone and Naples.
Dan has continued his education within the Royal Marines. While in music training he was successful in passing the LRSM performance diploma, and recently gained a BMus (Hons) degree with first class honours from Plymouth University. In 2014 he completed the year long Bandmasters course with a superior pass, and during this course was also awarded the AMusTCL (Music Analysis) and LRSM (Wind Band Direction) diplomas.
He has performed many different solos on a regular basis and commissioned a suite of three pieces by a former Director of Music, Phillip Watson. His recent playing highlights include performing a solo at the Royal Albert Hall for this years Mountbatten Festival. The new arrangement by Tom Hodge was called Puttin on the Marmalade, which provided Dan with a new challenge of playing in a Jazz style.
Operationally, he worked in Bristol helping to cover the fire strikes of 2003, initially on the Green Goddesses, and later as part of the BART (Breathing Apparatus Rescue Team). Then in 2008/09, he deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan as part of 3 Commando Brigade. Most of his time here was spent away from the rest of the band in a Forward Operating Base in Gereshk, attached to the Danish Battle group. In addition to this he has also enjoyed multiple training exercises on RFA Argus.
Dan took over as Bandmaster of the Northwood HQ Volunteer band in September 2015, and looks forward to spending his next two years in this role.