RMBS audition week diary.

Discussion in 'Royal Marines Band' started by ivywavexxi, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. ivywavexxi

    ivywavexxi Member

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    RMBS audition week:


    I find all the PRMC diaries incredibly interesting and helpful to read. So I thought I'd write an audition week diary for the RMBS, from my experience. I know there aren't many potential bandies on here... but might be useful.


    Day 1: Monday- you arrive by train and get picked up from the station on a minibus and taken to HMS Nelson. You get signed in and issued ID for the base, a feeder card so you can have free meals from the galley. Then over to the bedding stores and straight up to your accom. You either share a room with 3 other auditionees or with some of the current training band. (Boys and girls separated by floor.) You are escorted everywhere by bandies from training band. This evening you get an initial brief from staff about how the week will progress.


    Day 2: Tuesday- Up early, escorted to the galley for breakfast. You get another brief from your training team who will take you through phase one (these are commandos) and they tell you what to expect from phase 1. Similarly you get a talk from the bands PTI who talks about the phys tests for the upcoming week and also about phys during phase 1.
    Then straight into auditions. You are auditioned on every instrument under the sun. I was auditioned on around 10/12 altogether. In each audition you will play your main instrument (your prepared piece) and then if it's a new instrument the instructor will teach you a basic scale and some technique and then you do some easy sight reading. The auditions are quite informal and the instructors/professors are really keen to get to know you and your aspirations.
    Escorted to lunch.
    After lunch some more auditions. Then the bft. You are driven by minibus to the promenade on Portsmouth seafront. The pti/a band recruit will take you for a warm up. Then you do two minute best effort pressups (tricep! Don't get caught out) and sit ups. Do not ask for a mat to do them on!! Then a 1.5 mile troop run in 15mins or under and then 1.5 mile run best effort. The route is completely flat and there's a PTI placed at the half way point.
    Back to base, escorted to dinner. Then you have a written/aural music test. I think it lasted about 30-45 minutes? Simple question, around grade 3 theory I would say, with a short essay at the end.
    Then bed. Lights out around 10 the duty NCO will check up on you.


    Day 3: Wednesday- up earlier today. Starts with a swimming test. This involves two 25m lengths. Getting out the pool unaided and jumping off the 5m board. Yes it's 5 not 3!
    After breakfast it's more auditions. You do have to wait around a bit during auditions but there are always current recruits, so get talking to them about their experience and also read the band magazines to get more info which will all be useful when it comes to the final interview.
    Escorted to lunch, then it's the dreaded determination test. But don't dread it, it's quite fun actually. It is done on the parade ground and every audition week is different. It will always start with the bleep test. Then it's up to the PTI. You do anything from it pays to be a winner sprints, burpees, medicine ball work, log pt, press ups, flexed arm hangs, wall sits, planks...you name it. Just keep going and work as a team when necessary. Then depending if you're lucky or not you will have to do the bleep test again at the end.
    Escorted to dinner, bed. Food at Portsmouth in my opinion is worse than CTC but it's fine, in phase 2 you have a lot more freedom to cook for yourself. Furthermore you have plenty of time during the audition week to eat, you are not run around like you will be at CTC.


    Day 4: Thursday- interview day. After breakfast it's interviews (and maybe still auditions depending on how big your group is.) lots of waiting around today especially if you have an afternoon interview. Interviews are in front of 3 senior instructors (mixed rank: officers/SNCOs- more often than not the Director of Music DoMT as well, so you need to know your ranks). This interview consists of personal questions, aspirations, how you think the week has gone, best/worst point. What would you do if you didn't get in? Then more specific questions: how many bands are there, where are the bands located, what is the role of the band service, how long have women been allowed, who's the head of the band service, directors of music, operational role, basic history...If you are in the middle of the interviews be aware they might throw you a random question that you're not expected to know, it's just for their amusement. Keep eye contact at all times, try not to look out the window, body language can be picked up on.
    Then dinner.

    In the evening of the Thursday you have a social at a bar on base. Again you get to chat to lots of the current recruits and just relax before results the next day.


    Day 5: Friday- results!! After breakfast you will fall in in front of the cottage (offices). Then you are called in one by one to sit with the DoMT or another officer to find out your fate.

    Then home!

    Overall a very enjoyable week.
     
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  2. Chelonian

    Chelonian Well-Known Member

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    Very informative. Thanks for posting. I suspect that there may be a fair few prospective bandies lurking and the more content like this the better.
     
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  3. Jillydog

    Jillydog Member

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    Yes very informative and even interesting to me so should be great for aspiring RM musicians. Well done.
     
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  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Excellent post, our first RMBS diary - thank you!
     
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  5. Kilroy

    Kilroy New Member

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    I'm hoping to get onto one of the first auditions of next year, so this sort of first-hand account is exactly what I've been looking for. Big thanks for posting this!
     
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  6. ivywavexxi

    ivywavexxi Member

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    Good luck with your audition. If you have any questions then feel free to ask. I'll try and help as much as I can.
     
  7. Kilroy

    Kilroy New Member

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    Thanks a lot. It's a little broad, but do you have any general tips or pointers for preparing for the audition week?
     
  8. ivywavexxi

    ivywavexxi Member

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    @Kilroy

    I guess I can break it down a little.

    Physically work on tricep press ups and sit-ups. The press ups catch a lot of people out. My advice (with hindsight) would be doing them to the beep like the RMFA, you will do this during phase 1 so start now. Look at the navy/new royal marine pre phys plan. Girls should aim for the male standard because they will be doing identical training and a lower standard can be detrimental. But don't panic over the phys either, many do, just enjoy it!

    Keep your music theory ticking over, I don't know if you did A level music or anything/degree. It involves- Knowing your intervals and circle of fifths. Then a basic level of reading music in all clefs: tenor, alto, treble and bass. Basic transposition is useful. Sonata form and then basic history on big composers like Mozart and Beethoven. (So it's basic :")

    Then lots of scales and technique work, I got asked todo technical exercises on my main instrument which threw me because I stopped doing scales at grade 5 and started orchestral excerpts. Don't worry too much about your main repertoire, as long as you have one piece which is to a good level. Your scales and technique are critiqued more. (Particularly on your main instrument.)

    Be really open minded about instrument category because more likely than not you will be given two absolutely new instruments. And they like to see an open minded attitude, up for new challenges...not people who will not accept their place because of category.

    But I reckon you're all over the music so don't let the phys drop. They are equally important.

    Also for the audition week turn up in a suit I'm sure you will but there's always one (my brother for example.)
     
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  9. Kilroy

    Kilroy New Member

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    @ivywavexxi

    Thanks again for your very in depth response!

    With regards to scales, did they have you play them over a 12th or two octaves?
     
  10. ivywavexxi

    ivywavexxi Member

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    No worries :) All my scales were done over two octaves.
     
  11. rycbar

    rycbar New Member

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    Thanks for the diary, it will definitely help a lot.
    Did you have a medical bit / dentistry stuff as well?
     
  12. ivywavexxi

    ivywavexxi Member

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    Not during audition week. I was cleared medically before. However some people had outsatanding Medicals and had to sort paperwork out during the week. But there wasn’t any medical checks if you were though the medical already.
     

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