A Royal Marine drummer is to make a world record bid for the longest individual drum roll.
Standing currently at 12 hours and three seconds, Sergeant Bugler Graham 'Stevo' Stephenson will kick off his drum roll early on Tuesday morning (August 19) on board The Royal Yacht Britannia in the Port of Leith, Edinburgh.
All being well, he should pass the current record at around 1pm in the afternoon of the same day.
And, when he does, it will make him a double world record holder - for Stevo was one of the Royal Marines' Corps of Drums which successfully targeted and smashed the group drum roll record in May this year. The target was 28 hours, 19 minutes and three seconds. The record attempt took place at the Tower of London and, following some pretty grim weather, the 53-strong team achieved a total duration of 64 hours, 27 minutes, 59 seconds.
The two bids are part of the celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines - founded in 1664 as the Admiral's Regiment.
In the original formation orders, a drummer was singled out as essential to each of the six companies assembled under the banner of the regiment - an indication then, as it is now, of how music and military are inextricably linked.
Taking place during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Stevo, who is part of The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Scotland, has spent many hours preparing for the record attempt at his band's home at MOD Caledonia in Rosyth. In addition to wanting to break the world record, he is also keen to raise much needed funds for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF) which offers invaluable financial support to former and serving Royal Marines and their families.
"One of the biggest challenges is staying focused," said Stevo. "The roll is the simplest drum rudiment, but requires a good degree of concentration to maintain.
"Lack of sleep and proximity of the toilets are also a concern - but I have prepared well and don't intend on letting the Corps of Drums down!"
Stevo is permitted a strict five minute break in each hour - but the timing is taken excluding these breaks, meaning that the total time will exceed 13 hours.
To assist Stevo in his epic endeavour, Premier Percussion Ltd has been extremely generous in donating a snare and their support throughout this year has been very much appreciated. Ditto Jam Percussion has donated four pairs of drum sticks for the challenge - probably with the tips of three of those pairs worn down by the time the bid is complete!
However, there are plenty of opportunities for the record attempt to fail and invigilators from the drumming community will be present to ensure the Guinness World Records rules for the individual record attempt are not infringed.
The Corps of Drums will continue to raise money for the RMCTF until October 28 this year and if you would like to support them, please make a donation either online (www.justgiving.com/RMCOD1664) or by text.
Fiona Holland, UK Regions Media Officer, Royal Navy
For more information, please contact:
0131 55 8800
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