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Darlington Community Wind Band

Previous Conductors

The band

As a group of brass, woodwind and percussion players from various walks of life we are fortunate to have been conducted by a succession of conductors - each bringing their own flavour to our band.

The Band was originally formed in 2006 by a group of players under the Musical Direction of Gary Bridge. Chris Lawn took over as Conductor in 2008, Phil Tranmer in 2012 and then Brian Wildroder in 2015.

Alumni - our previous conductors

BrianW_photo courtesy billy barnet © www.billybarnetphotography.zenfolio.com

Brian Wilderoder BA Hons, Dip Mus

Brian conducted our band from April to December 2015 and was first involved with the band as a brass player.

Brian was born into a musical family, his father being a bandmaster in the Salvation Army in Battersea, London. Later, his parents, as Salvation Army Officers, and also his two brothers’ and sisters’ would regularly perform (sing) at the local Salvation Army Corps. As a brass instrumentalist, Brian first learnt to play the Baritone, courtesy of the Salvation Army and school. Upon leaving school he enlisted into the Army as a Musician, playing Euphonium, and completed a very successful 24 years service. Having served mainly in Germany and the UK, Brian left the forces in 1999 and has worked as a music teacher. Former pupils have progressed to University to study music and also play in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. Brian became Musical Director of the Darlington Community Wind Band in early 2015. The experience and enthusiasm that he brings to the band has already had a positive effect. The music the band performs is interesting, sometimes challenging and essentially an enjoyable experience. Brian was always destined to be a musician. Born on Christmas Day in 1959, the Salvation Army Band played outside his home to celebrate. Brian says that he remembers it well!!!

Chris Lawn

Our previous conductor, Phil Tranmer BA(Ed) Cert ED A.L.C.M. A.M.I.S.M.

Phil conducted our band from September 2012 to April 2015– prior to this he was principal clarinet in the band.

Phil started life as a musician in the Army, joining the Green Howards band at the young age of 16. He later transferred to the RAF band where he was principal clarinet. Phil has worked in the West End and performed in Phantom of the Opera and Blood Brothers, as well as playing for the London Symphony and BBC concert orchestras. Phil came back to the North ten years ago, and has been in various trios and show bands since then. In 2012/13 he worked in Cairo as well as performing in Sousical the Musical on the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument).

Our first conductor – Chris Lawn B.Ed (Music) LRSM (Bandmastership), Cert & Dip Band Studies (University of Sheffield)

Chris conducted the band for many years – the band would not be what it is today without him! He is now enjoying retirement in Cheltenham, where he conducts the band of the Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Chris is a highly experienced conductor, and a talented cornet player. He started his musical career as a member of the Green Howards band and then the Band of the Royal Irish Rangers, before leaving the Army in 1978 to continue conducting and teaching as a civilian. Chris went on to have considerable success conducting many brass bands all over the country in both concerts and competitions, twice in the Albert Hall in London. In 1991 Chris won the National Association of Brass Band Conductors conducting competition. 1993 saw the culmination of his studies when he gained a Bachelor of Education in Music from Sunderland University. In June 1993 he was appointed Head of Music at a local school in Darlington.