Major P.J Curtis

MBE BMus(Hons) PGDip LRSM AMusTCL Royal Marines

Born into a Salvationist family, Pete grew up with a keen interest in music and started playing the piano and cornet. Having seen the Royal Marines Band perform in his hometown of Bath he was instantly hooked. He attended an audition a short time after, where he was selected to join the Royal Marines Band Service as a Solo Cornet player in January 1986. Over the following 18 years, Pete served in all ranks up to and including Warrant Officer 2 in various Royal Marines Bands including CinC Fleet Band, BRNC Dartmouth Band, RM Band Scotland and The Royal Band Portsmouth plus a spell as the Volunteer Band Instructor at HMS Collingwood. He also had appointments as the Solo Cornet Instructor, the Higher Training Academic Instructor and the Chief Instructor at the Royal Marines School of Music, Portsmouth.

Having gained a distinguished pass on the 1999 Bandmasters Course, along with two civilian diplomas (an Associate (Music) with Trinity College London, for Theory and a Licentiate with the Royal Schools of Music for Conducting) he was presented with the prestigious Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Following a period of further study in 2001 he was awarded a Bachelor of Music Degree, graduating with First Class Honours.

In 2004, he was selected for commissioning and commenced the Senior Corps Commission Officers' Course at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone. On completion and following promotion to Captain RM, he moved to the University of Salford, Manchester, to undertake further intensive musical study with the legendary Professor David King. Here he gained a Post Graduate Diploma specialising in both Conducting and the Psychology of Performance. An enjoyable two year period as the Director of Music of the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Commando Training Centre followed before stepping away from the Band Service to undertake a number of roles within the Royal Marines General Service, firstly as 2nd-in-Command of Base Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines during their 2007/08 tour of Afghanistan, and then as the Corps Casualty Officer where he was solely responsible for the Royal Marines Casualty Notification Process.

Given his unique experience of the Naval Service Recovery Pathway and having worked so closely with many casualties and their families, in June 2009, he was selected to be the first ever Officer to command Hasler Company Royal Marines, a brand new Rehabilitation Company. He was chosen to create, set up and command this bespoke facility in order to accommodate, manage and administer all of the long term ill and seriously injured casualties within the Royal Marines, a role for which he was awarded the MBE in the 2011 Queens Birthday Honours.

He returned to the Band Service in 2010 as the Royal Marines Band Engagement Tasking Authority and the Other Ranks Career Manager working within the Band HQ, a role he held until September 2012 when he became the Director of Music of The Band of Her Majestys Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band). Then, in September 2013, he was promoted to Major and appointed as the Director of Music of The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Collingwood.

Throughout his Band Service career, he has also enjoyed working as a conductor with numerous other organisations including Totnes Band, Tullis Russell Brass Band, Woodfalls Band, Ocean Brass, Camborne Town Band, Besses O The Barn Brass Band and most recently, The Band of The Hampshire Constabulary, a role he took over in January 2011.

He lives in the Drayton area of Portsmouth with his wife Rachel, a former Royal Marines musician, along with their daughter Mosella. He also has three older children, Francesca, Matthew and Bethany.