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Musical Director

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Marsh Gibbon Silver Band are delighted to announce that Chris Johnston has been appointed to the position of Musical Director and will be conducting his first rehearsal with the band on Thursday 9th June 2016.  Chris will be getting to know the band very quickly, as his first public engagement with us will be on Saturday 11th!  Here are a few biographical notes to give you an idea of the wealth of experience that Chris will be bringing to the band.

More about our Musical Director here

Christopher Leon Johnston

Christopher Leon Johnston is from a family deeply involved in the brass band movement.  He started playing the cornet at the age of 5, and by the age of 6, self–taught, won his first solo medal.

Born in Carlisle in 1957 and from a Salvation Army background, in his early years he was in the Yorkshire and Derbyshire area and was a member of several mineworkers brass bands.  These bands included Cresswell Colliery, Rossington Colliery, Dinnington Colliery and Thurcroft Colliery.

With his family moving to Cornwall he continued playing with brass bands in that region, including Camborne Town (Championship Section), St Austell Band (Championship Section), St Keverne Band (1st Section) and Redruth Town Band (1st Section), all in the position of principal euphonium and Bandmaster. He then began conducting brass bands and teaching young and old players to play a brass instrument and how to read music.  He was approached by several Cornish brass bands to become their Musical Director and he accepted two of these appointments - one with the Hayle Town Band (2nd Section) and one with the Redruth Town Band (1st Section).

In 1974 he was playing euphonium for the Camborne Town Band (Championship Section) that won the World Championship in Kerkrade, Holland and also achieved 5th place at the National finals in the Royal Albert Hall.

From 1975-1977 he was again with The St Keverne band in Cornwall on principal euphonium.  During this time the band won the 3rd Section National finals - the only Cornish band ever to take this title.  Also in this period he formed a 10-piece brass group which toured Cornwall with Goff Richards, who was a family friend for many years.

1978 He was approached by the famous Cresswell Colliery band (Championship Section) in Derbyshire to become their principal euphonium player.  He accepted this position, and was provided a job at the colliery and a house - all part of the incentive to move to Derbyshire. At Cresswell he played in several competitions and concerts and performed many solo items to very large audiences.

In 2001 he started playing baritone for the Travelsphere Holidays Band (formerly GUS (Footwear) Band and Munn & Felton Band), one of the premier brass bands in the country.  This was under the musical direction of Frank Renton, presenter of the BBC’s “Listen to the Band” Radio programme. But, due to work pressure at the time, he had to leave his band position to concentrate on his career.

His most recent Musical Director position was for the last 3 years conducting the Harlow Brass Band.  Having built the Band up to nearly full strength and improving the overall standard of the Band, he needed to cut down on the 125 mile round trip to rehearsals every week.  He is now looking forward to working with the Marsh Gibbon Silver Band and finding out what can be achieved with them in the very near future and beyond.

 

 

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