Schools and College News | Andover College Music Student joins The Royal Marine BandFormer Music student Thomas Sharp marched into Andover College recently suited and booted in his Royal Marine uniform to share his experience of life in an army band. Trombone player Thomas, known to friends and college staff as ‘Tombone’, is currently studying at the Royal Marines School of Music in Portsmouth having left in 2013 with an Extended Diploma in Music and AS in music from the College’s Music Academy.

Tom’s dream was always to work for the Royal Marines and after the initial 15 weeks military training, he started his specialist qualification. Like all musicians at the Army school he will also have the opportunity to study for a BMus (Hons) Degree.

During his time with the Andover students Tom described the challenge of initial training. This included one week with only eight hours sleep, endless physical training and the occasion where his clothes were thrown out of a window because they were not ironed to the required standard.

However, he is the first to admit that he now finds himself in a rather privileged situation. Whilst others face £9000 per annum university fees plus living costs in order to achieve their honours degree, Tom is being paid to be at the Royal Marine Music School. He pays a token fee for accommodation, is fed three meals a day and will also get his degree for free.

During his visit Tom talked about life without financial worries and building up debt, performing at a function where Princess Anne was present, his future tours, and of course the endless ironing.

Some students were so motivated by Tom’s visit that they have now decided to explore the royal Marines School of Music

Andover College offers a range of Music courses including AS and A Level Music, Level 2 and Level 3 Music Diplomas and Level 2 and Level 3 Music Technology Diplomas. For further information please either call 01264 360000 or visit

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Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at