Guest Director of Music

capt_swoodWe are glad to announce that for this one off event, Major Tony Smallwood MA(Dist) PGDip(Adv) BMus(Hons) LRSM RM will join us as a Guest Director of Music for a small concert to take place at the Turner Simms Concert Hall, Southampton on Mon 15th October.

This event is a private affair to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Hartley Institution in Southampton that took place on 15 October 1862.  Prime Minister Lord Palmerston cut the ribbon and 100's of civic dignitaries attended. Around a dozen bands played at the time including the Band of the Royal Marines !

The Hartley Institution became the University of Southampton after 90 years from 1862 to 1952, when it was given the Royal Charter from our present Queen.

To commemorate this University milestone on Monday 15 October 2012, the band will play a short concert to run from 13.00 - 13.50 hrs in the Turner Sims Concert Hall on the University of Southampton's Highfield Campus.  

About Tony -  He was encouraged from an early age by his father Barry, a music teacher, to learn the piano, and soon after he began lessons on the French Horn and played with the County Youth Orchestra. He joined the Royal Marines Band Service as a cornet and piano player in 1983 and on completion of training was drafted to the Plymouth Band. His hard work came to fruition when he was offered the position of pianist on the Royal Yacht Britannia, traveling extensively throughout the world.

Tony passed the Royal Marines Bandmasters' Course in 1995 where he gained an LRSM in Conducting. On promotion to Warrant Officer Bandmaster in April 2000, he went on an exchange to the Defence Force School of Music in Australia for four months and on returning to the UK, Tony held the position as the Bandmaster at the Royal Marines School of Music for the next two years, during which time he attained his BMus(Hons) Degree.

He was promoted to Captain in 2002 after completing officer training at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon. Prior to taking up his appointment in June 2004 as Director of Music, Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland, Tony studied conducting at post-graduate advanced level under Peter Stark and Simon Young at Trinity College of Music in London; on completion of his studies, Tony was awarded the Ricordi Conducting Prize.

During his tenure as Director of Music of the Scotland Band, Tony took the Band abroad on several occasions including playing a major role in the Edinburgh Tattoo both in Edinburgh and Sydney, Australia.  He recorded a CD entitled ‘Victory in Europe’ to mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World war which sold thousands of copies, and at the same time raised money for the Royal British Legion.  Tony’s second recording featured one of his favourite genres, the Big Band. The ‘Live! At the Carnegie Hall’ recording was an instant success selling out almost as soon as it went on sale. His three years in Scotland saw many high profile engagements with musicians and celebrities including Katherine Jenkins and Jane McDonald, and culminated in Tony being awarded a distinction as Master of Music (Conducting).

Tony moved back to Portsmouth to the RM Band Service Headquarters in 2007.  After being selected for promotion to Major in February 2008, he was invited to return to Sydney for four months as the Musical Director of the Royal Australian Navy Band, which was a huge privilege and a great experience.  Tony is also recognised as an experienced arranger and has arranged many pieces for the annual Massed Bands Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall.

His current position as Director of Music of the Portsmouth Band sees him fulfill a long-held ambition.  In August 2011 Tony led a 15 piece ‘Show Band’ from the Portsmouth Band, entertaining our troops in Helmand Province, Kandahar and Kabul.

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