Percussion Player To Conductor

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ian perks, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    How many percussion players in a brass band have gone on to be Conductors in a brass band.
    As myself i do not know of any who have.
    We have got all instumentalists from Soprano Players to Bass players who have gone on to be a conductor but percussion players ive not heard of any.
  2. zak

    zak Member

    Is there a particular reason why you want to know??? Just curious.

    I don't know the answer but can't say it's anything I have ever thought about to be honest ;)
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Probably the most prominent in the brass band world would be Michael Gerasi of Brass Band of Central Florida, although in the orchestral world there is Simon Rattle.
  4. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Paul Lovat- Cooper conducted Royal Buckley Band in the Welsh area...
  5. Alan MacRae

    Alan MacRae Member

    Me... but only as the last step in a convoluted journey from trumpet - cornet- tenor horn - euph - bari - percussion - conductor :D
  6. onebandman

    onebandman New Member

    Yes, I can think of one or two but they had also played brass in the past as well as percussion.
  7. tam-tam2

    tam-tam2 Member

    Many years ago when I was at Rogerstone I can remember David Griffiths (Dyke, Cory) conducting us for a short time.
  8. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Our conductor did percussion as 2nd instrument (besides trombone) when he studied at the conservatory. Occassionally, he will go to the back of our band room to demonstrate to our percussionists how to play a certain tricky part, and he is always complaining about how a certain cymbal or triangle doesn't sound exactly the way it is supposed to sound :D
  9. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member


    I started percussion at age 6. Joined my first brass band at age 15 and have been conducting brass bands from age 20.

    I don't play a brass instrument but my wife (Aardvark) does. And my dad plays tuba.
  10. S Carey

    S Carey New Member

    Most drummers I know would rather be wagging two sticks!
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    Honesty compelles me to admitt to this crime unfortunately.
  12. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    My first ever contest with Uckfield Band was on percussion - my last was as conductor.

    And of course, both myself and Mr Lancaster guested on percussion with Alder Valley Brass
  13. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    West Ham were in the world cup? really? Who beat you in the charity shield last time you were in it btw?
  14. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Wow, that was quick - I only added that to my signature last year!! ;)
  15. Alisop

    Alisop Member

    John Anderson conducted Grimethorpe for a bit and did brassed off with them. He was a percussionist!
  16. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I've done it. But I do play brass as well.

    As Mr Bale pointed out, arguably the world's top orchestral conductor is a percussionist!

    I am surprised it isn't more common. I found that playing percussion really helped my ear for balance and scoring etc. - you have to blend with everyone from the basses to the soprano at various times, and the volume you have to play at can vary wildly from venue to venue. All good things for a conductor to pick up on.

    It's also useful as a percussionist to be able to read three different copies on three different stands all at once, while watching the conductor, running between instruments and changing sticks. Score-reading is a doddle afterwards. :biggrin:
  17. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I've done it, but like many others I also play brass, well started on brass, then moved to perc. I am a much better perc. player than a brass player to be fair. But that fact that i'm mulit-faceted certainly helps with the conducting side tho!
  18. bbg

    bbg Member

    Are not all conductors ex-percussionists?......if you can't play an instrument you are given two sticks and a drum, if you can't even manage that they take one stick away and you're the conductor.............
  19. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    Some good points made by Morghoven. A good percussionist spends most of his time listening to brass players, and indeed in that role spends more time than any other player listening to his colleagues, simply by virtue of the fact he spends a lot of time counting bars rest or sitting out the usual raft of "tacit for percussion" scores.

    The percussionists principle role especially when playing kit, is to keep time, this function should of course stand a percussionist in good stead when stepping up to the podium as conductor. Sadly, keeping a steady tempo is not a popular pastime for brass band players generally! As a percussion player I am very aware of this shortcoming in brass bands and i think great benifit could be derived from many more skin bashers passing on their experience on the podium.

    Another advantage percussion players tend to have is that they quite often have far more experience outside the brass band world in various other musical groups and various types of music. As a result they often have a broader knowledge of how different aspects of the brass band repertoire should be played.

    Lastly, as we sit at the back, we are the only players in the band who can speak fluent "tuba". Conductors normally have to make do with communicating with tuba players via smoke signals. They may occasionally send out a brave librarian "missionary" armed with plenty of glass beads and a bible, but as we all know he could easily be found weeks later in the store cupboard with his head mounted on an old cymbal stand.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - and you would be listening & learning about all the finer details of brass playing that's covered ... alternative valve and slide positions, production techniques etc. :rolleyes:

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