Info on the Composer Peter Kneale


New Member
I need to find some information for programme notes on the composer Peter Kneale (composer of Variations on a Welsh Theme).

Any info would be gratefully received.

Many Thanks


From what I can remember, he was conductor of the Sandy Band in Bedfordshire in the 70's & 80's, a very good pianist, he wrote a Jazz Suite for brass quartet I think, and I'm sure this solo was written for Beverley Vaughan, it's all a bit vague I'm afraid.


Active Member
PeterBale said:
He also wrote the trombone solo "Blue John", if that's any help.

Pythagoras should be able to help out on this one as Blue John was published by Mick Godbehere as Ravencar Music and he plays sop at Dronfield Band. Daniel can you get some information from Mick?
Peter originates from banding familly on the Isle of Man and currently resides in Wollaston, near Wellingborough, Northants. I was fortunate to enjoy three years under Peter's baton from, 1976 to 1979, at Rushden Windmill, just after I joined the band as an impressionable 16 year old, and he had indeed had a spell as conductor of Sandy Silver prior to that. Peter is one of life's gentlemen and an extremely tallented and natural musician but, unfortunately, he developed tinitus during his time with the band which lead him to resign after a short, but successful period with the band, taking it to both National and Pontins finals in the 2nd. Section. Peter has a great enjoyment of jazz which was often reflected in his choice of programme and also in the music he composed. He wrote a piece for the band which was entitled 'The Wayward Windmill'. The piece was also scored for wind band and published by R. Smith, although it was re-titled 'Jazzamatazz', which to me didn't have the same feel, but what's in a name! Blue John was written in the early '80's at the band's request. Simon Kingsley was Solo Trom. with the band and subsequently went on to play with a number of top bands, most notably, Grimethorpe. One of the band's older players, Ron Benning, had collapsed at rehearsal and died shortly afterwards. The band decided to donate a cup in his memory to the Northants Association and were determined Simon should stand a good chance of winning it, Blue John was the outcome and Simon was the first recipient.
As for Variations, I'm not too sure where the idea for him to write it came from or if it was written for anyone in particular. I do remember calling round his house with some other members of the band for whatever reason, and Peter mentioning the fact that he had almost completed this new piece and proceeded to give us a few bars on the piano, particularly the slow movement which I think is superb, and we were all suitably impressed.
Peter is now in his 70's and in reasonable health, and whilst the tinitus prevented him from continuing in banding, he carried on, until retirement, as a peripatetic teacher in Northamptonshire.

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