The Royal Netherlands Navy has 2 bands: the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Fifes and Drums of the Marine Corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The Steel Band is part of the Fifes and Drums.
The Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy was established in 1945. Its original task was to provide musical accompaniment for military ceremonies. However, over the years, the Band has developed into an orchestra of national and international repute. It has consequently become an indispensable element at official events. The Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy consists of conservatory-trained musicians, who upon joining the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy, become military musicians. They also perform in various small ensembles, known by names such as “Strings”, “Combo”, “Dance orchestra” or “Brass quintet”.
More information in English, French and German can be found at the bottom of the page.
The Fifes and Drums are marines who, after their military training, complete a professional fifes and drums musical training programme. The Fifes and Drums provide musical accompaniment to military ceremonies, such as swearing-in ceremonies, transfers of command, inaugurations and commissioning of ships, military funerals, guards of honour and remembrance ceremonies.
The Fifes and Drums also perform at all sorts of events, both in the Netherlands (such as the National Tattoo in Rotterdam and the International Four Days' Marches in Nijmegen) and abroad. The Fifes and Drums perform on an individual basis as well as in groups. They also regularly perform together with the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The Steel Band is a component of the Fifes and Drums. Their instruments were presented to them by the Aruban population in 1969 and have been used by the Steel Band ever since. The Steel Band built up a large repertoire that same year, with particular emphasis on Latin-American music.