Musical Director

David Cole OBE MVO


David joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1967 from which he retired as a Director of Music after 32 years service.

He studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

His career in the Royal Marines culminated in September 1992 when he was appointed Director of Music to the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth and Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia. An appointment he held to December 1997 when the Royal Yacht was decommissioned in Portsmouth.


The Queen honoured him by awarding him membership of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).

Following his long and distinguished career in the Royal Marines he spent the next few years in teaching as the Head of Music at Wellesley House, a top Independent Preparatory School in Broadstairs, Kent where he also continued his life-long love of sport and athletics.

David was appointed Director of Music to the Royal British Legion in 2006 and as such, directs the Central Band. He is also the musical director of the annual Festival of Remembrance, a major national event broadcast on BBC television and radio and has won three BAFTAs for the Festival and the BBC coverage of Passchendaele.

David was awarded the OBE in 2018 for services to music and charity.

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