I started as a child on the recorder and still play it very occasionally.   In my mid-teens, I decided to try something a "bit better" and started clarinet.   (I have since realised that the clarinet is not necessarily "better", but it is still generally perceived as a better instrument).   After a few lessons, I started playing at school and then joined the Croydon Schools Wind Orchestra (CSWO), under the baton of Malcolm Ellingworth.   Very soon after I joined, the CSWO won the wind orchestra category in the National competition (held in Fairfield Halls, Croydon).   About a year after I had started the clarinet, I became Principal Clarinet and Leader of the CSWO, which was quite a challenge, and after a tempestuous year we again won the national competition.
During my time in the CSWO I met a teacher who became a life-long friend and who taught me a great deal about music: that friend is Simon Ballard who is a well-published composer and an active teacher and concert pianist.
I have over 40 years' experience of clarinet playing under various conductors and had conducted on several occasions during the early years.   However, in June 2004 I was appointed the Conductor and Director of Music for the Harrow Concert Band until 2016, and in January 2010 I was appointed the Conductor and Director of Music for the Thame Concert Band until 2016.
I have attended conducting courses run by the Royal British Legion learning from Captain Ted Whealing and David Cole both of whom have vast experience conducting in the Royal Marines (both concluded their careers in the Royal Marines as Director of Music on the Royal Yacht Britannia) and elsewhere.
I played for the Central Band of The Royal British Legion from 1992 until 2010, over 5 years of which as Principal Clarinet.   I made several recordings with the band - both for CDs and Radio; including two for Radio 2's Listen to the Band and for Radio 1 and Radio 3.
I have been fortunate to have played at several prestigious venues and occasions, including Buckingham Palace, Fairfield Halls, Westminster Abbey, Wimbledon Tennis (Centre Court and "Henman Hill"), and Lords Cricket Ground.   I have also appeared on television several times as part of the Central Band's performances.   On many occasions I have appeared on the same stage as well known performers, including Dame Vera Lynn, Richard Baker, Hayley Westenra, Norman Wisdom - to name but a few! - and in the presence of several members of the Royal Family, including the Queen.   I have played in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on three occasions.
I have, in the past, played Principal Clarinet for and conducted the Farnborough Concert Band of the Royal British Legion and with the All Saints Concert Band.
I have also played in several chamber groups and orchestras in various concerts and, of course, just for the love of playing, sometimes for charity.
I have conducted several amateur orchestras and other bands.   In 2008, I was invited to conduct one of my own arrangements for a series of concerts by the Central Band of The Royal British Legion, including in the Fairfield Halls, Croydon.
I have made several arrangements (more details) of pieces for various groups, but mainly for bands, one of which (Lark in the Clear Air) was recorded by the Central Band of the Royal British Legion on their 'S Wonderful CD (sadly no longer available), with the excellent Caroline Docherty as flute soloist.   Another, Tiger Rag, has been recorded on another excellent Central Band CD "Fame", which is available here.   I have also been commissioned to arrange several pieces for a flute quartet; All Keyed Up.
I aim, as a Conductor, to provide a firm but friendly style that strongly encourages enjoyment of the music, both for the players and audiences.
Most of my working life has not been in music: I was an IT professional.   It wasn't called IT when I started as a humble Computer Programmer and I have seen the computer world change dramatically from the room-sized machines through to the modern desktop models with so much more computing power.
I have several interests beyond music.   These include cricket, crosswords, formula-1, science and detective fiction (books and tv/film), architecture - particularly stained-glass windows - and computing.   But music takes most of my time.