Sandhurst Silver Band (Professional) – David Johnson
Born and raised in Sennen Cove near Lands End in Cornwall, David began his playing career on baritone with Penzance Silver Band before moving to Solo Euphonium at Lanner and District Silver Band, playing until he joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1990. During the last 26 years as a professional musician in the Royal Marines, his career has taken him all over the world, performing as a soloist in the USA, Canada, Russia, Ethiopia, Japan and Australia.
In addition to his talents as a performer, David is also prolific arranger for wind and brass bands. For the past 11 years his music has been featured at the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall and his more recent works include arrangements performed at the world premiere of the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ and for Classic FM chart-topping saxophonist, Amy Dixon. In recognition of his achievements in this area, in 2013, 14, 15 & 16 he was awarded the prestigious Herbert Lott Award for Innovation and Invention in Orchestration.
David started his conducting career with Torbay Brass and in 2006 moved to Verwood Concert Brass where, over the course of three years, the band was promoted from Third to First Section. In 2010 David took up the position of Musical Director at Aldbourne Band and in 2011 steered the band to victories at the West of England First Section Regional Championships, Senior Trophy at the Spring Festival and the National Finals in Cheltenham. As recognition of his achievements with the band, he was nominated as ‘Conductor of the Year’ in the 4BarsRest Awards in 2011. Since Aldbourne’s meteoric rise to the Championship Section, David has achieved 3rd placings with the band at the Regional Championships in 2013 and 2014 respectively. These successes were also mirrored at the Spring Festival with promotion into the British Open’s Grand Shield in 2013
Having spent most of 2014 in the euphonium section of Cory Band, David picked up the batten once more with Aldbourne, helping the band secure a place at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in 35 years.
Sandhurst Silver Band (Resident) – Russell Young
Russ started his musical career at the age of seven as a trumpet/cornet player in Ripon, North Yorkshire and has played with various brass bands in the north. After gaining A level music at the Harrogate College of Arts and Technology he joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1993 at Deal and completed his training in 1995, gaining awards for the best cornet player and the aural cup. In September that year, he joined the Royal Marines Band Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, Devon where he became the band’s principal cornet player, a position he held for over 10 years. During that time the BRNC band had many engagements internationally, highlights being San Diego, Oregon, Naples, Cyprus and Finland. He was promoted to Band Corporal in 2001 and in 2002 was part of a Breathing Apparatus Rescue Team based in Runcorn, Cheshire during Operation Fresco. In September 2005 he attended the M1 music course passing with distinction. He was promoted to Band Sergeant in April 2006 and completed the twelve month Warrant Officer Bandmaster course in April 2007 gaining a LRSM diploma in music direction (Wind Band) and AMusTCL diploma in Musical Theory, Criticism and Literature. Following the Bandmaster course he joined RM Band Portsmouth and was fortunate enough to travel to Japan as part of a Brass Quintet and perform trumpet solos on the Mountbatten Festival of Music and the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
In April 2009 he was promoted to Colour Sergeant then later to Warrant Officer to take on the role of the RM Band Service Engagements Co-ordinator at Headquarters, organising and planning the programme for all the Royal Marines Bands. It was also in 2009 that he obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Music.
Russ was appointed as Bandmaster of The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland in January 2011 and then Bandmaster of The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood in 2013 which saw the band enjoy a successful tour of Switzerland. In 2015 he was responsible for delivering the Bandmasters’ course in Portsmouth in his appointment as the Chief Instructor at the Royal Marines School of Music and from 2017 to the present he is now back in Headquarters Band Service Royal Marines. Throughout his career he has stayed close to the brass band movement, playing and conducting for various bands in the south. He is currently the resident conductor of Sandhurst Silver Band and hopes for a successful tenure. He resides in Emsworth with his wife Kerry and daughters Jasmine and Amelie.
Derek brings a wealth of musical experience to Sandhurst Community Brass, having worked with a great variety of enembles from brass bands and orchestras to choirs and operatic productions. Following his studies at the Royal College of Music, Derek spent much of his career in primary teaching and currently focusses on individual tuition in brass and piano as well as a range of academic subjects. Derek is an avid collector of music and a keen steam railway enthusiast – when not conducting or teaching, he can often be found on a train or combing second-hand shops for rare LPs and sheet music.
Since Derek was appointed in early 2016, SCB has continued to go from strength to strength. The band particularly benefits from his enthusiastic and encouraging style of musical leadership, which is an ideal match for SCB’s ambitious, inclusive and supportive ethos.