History of the Band

The band was originally formed in 1998 by Michael Pegram, Rachel Lumb, Adrian Jarvis and the late Derek Kirby, and was under the direction of Michael Pegram, Musical Director of the RAF Halton Area Band. Its members were drawn by invitation from a wide area.

The reason for its inception was to create the opportunity for experienced musicians to play music of good quality, written either directly for wind band, or high end arrangements from the classical world, theatre or films.

The band’s membership includes professional and semi-professional musicians as well as enthusiastic amateurs.

The band is self-supporting, members paying a subscription to cover the costs of music and rehearsal facilities. The brass section of the band has played Christmas Carols in the Market Square in Tring since Christmas 2000.

Subsequent Conductors

Charley Brighton

Charley Brighton is a professional euphonium player. He was appointed Musical Director when Michael Pegram stood down as conductor in February 2001, and continued in the role for the next two years.

Andy Crompton

Andy Crompton is a professional trombone player who was appointed in mid-2003. He is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, and during his career has organised concerts starring Andrea Bocelli, and has toured with Michael Ball and Shirley Bassey as the lead trombone.

Andy led a very successful Vale Symphonic Wind Band, including the concert celebrating the bicentenary of the battle of Trafalgar. Andy continued as conductor until the end of 2008.

Chris Fower

Chris, who was a colleague of Andy, conducted the band for a few rehearsals after Andy Crompton left.

Dave Richards

Dave Richards was appointed in time to take his first concert in mid-February 2009. Dave is a very fine tuba player, and was Bandmaster of Royal Air Force Central Band until he retired from the RAF in 2016.

As a serving member of the RAF he was at the whim of the system, and had to resign as our Director of Music when he was posted as Bandmaster to the RAF College band at Cranwell in October 2009.

Harvey Baigent

On Dave Richards’ recommendation Harvey Baigent took over the band in 2009 and conducted four concerts in Aylesbury including one for the Aylesbury Lions in May 2011, and two in Boxmoor. He remained with the band until December 2015, though he took a year’s leave of absence in 2013/14.

Phil Wayman

Phil was principal alto saxophone with the band, but took over as conductor for a year while Harvey Baigent was away. He ably conducted the band in the next concerts in 2013.

Bill Skelton

Bill Skelton plays trombone with the band, but when Harvey Baigent left he stepped in and conducted the band until Andy took back the reins in 2017. He ably conducted the Spring 2016 concert in Chesham Bois, and the autumn concerts that year in Boxmoor and Aylesbury.

In January 2017 Andy Crompton returned as musical director, and is the current occupier of the post.

Copyright Vale Symphonic Wind Band