Chris’ banding career began in the West Country with Frome Town Band, based in Somerset,
where he learnt to play trombone. After a while he started to help training the youngsters
and conducting the junior band, aged 18. Earliest banding recollections are of long
days at the Colston Hall in Bristol to attend the Regional Finals, when all 4 sections
played in the same hall. In those days the best bands in the area were Cornish bands,
such as St Austell, St Dennis, St Keverne, Camborne and the like, which you could
listen to (free) at that contest.
There were then spells at Corsham Band, Wiltshire, as Principle Trombone and Sun
Life (Stanshawe) Band of Bristol, where he sat next to Steve Walkley. His banking
career then brought Chris to Bedfordshire and whilst at Reading Contest for the last
time with Corsham he ran into some players from the Heath Band. As luck would have
it, Heath were based 4 miles from his new home and he was nvited to join them.
Chris spent the next 29 years with Heath Band, both as Principle Trombone and Musical
Director. After redundancy and retraining in 1993 Chris secured a job in the local
area as a lecturer and it was also at this time that he first became Musical Director
of the Ampthill Town Band. In 1995 Chris conducted Corsham Band to 2nd place at
the Regional Finals in Plymouth, with the test piece Snowdon Fantasy. Unfortunately
their performance of Suite Gothique, at the Wembley Arena in London in the National
Finals, was not as pleasing to the adjudicators, but the experience was a high point.
In order to conduct Heath, Chris reluctantly relinquished the MD position at Ampthill
in 2005. He left Heath in 2009 and renewed his association with Ampthill again later
that year, when the current MD was injured. He has recently taken over the position
again on a full-time basis.