About Us

Vale Winds is a thriving wind band that aims to play good music to a very high standard. The band aims to continually expand repertoire as well as perform several concerts a year. Band members are friendly and hardworking, coming from all walks of life, with playing abilities ranging from Grade 8 to professional standard.

We welcome players of any age who are of this standard; particularly clarinets, horns and percussion. If you are interested you would be welcome to come to one of our rehearsals; just pop over to our contact us page to get in touch.

Meet the Players

Andy Crompton – Musical Director

Photo of Andy Crompton

We were delighted in 2017 to start the year by welcoming back Andy Crompton as our conductor. Andy has been the Musical Director of Vale Symphonic Wind Band before, but he had to leave due to pressure of work.

Andy is a consummate trombone player. He graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music where he was awarded the ‘Hiles Gold Medal’ for his orchestral playing, and has since amassed wide experience in all areas of the music industry, both touring and recording with many artistes, including the ‘Shirley Bassey Orchestra’ (over 22 years), Michael Ball Orchestra (over 21 years), Tom Jones, Andrea Bocelli, David Cassidy, Michael Crawford, Russell Watson, Moody Blues, Lionel Richie, Lesley Garrett, Josh Groban, Katherine Jenikns, Wet Wet Wet, The Three Degrees, The Four Tops, Howard Keele, Jeff Beck, Neil Sedaka, Jimmy Ruffin, Michael Bolton, Hearsay, The Temptations, Vic Damone, Frankie Vaughan, Rick Astley, Tony Christie, Sister Sledge, Johnny Mathis, Sasha Distel, Barry White and many, many more. He has also recorded numerous TV jingles, theme tunes and film scores. He played in the Led Zeppelin concert at the O2 and the launch of “Team GB” 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall.

Andy Crompton conducting for Shirley Bassey
Andy Crompton conducting for Dame Shirley Bassey in Monaco in 2008.

He is co-founder and Director of The British Philharmonic Orchestra, and has worked with various Big Bands including: The Nelson Riddle Orchestra; BBC Radio Orchestra; BBC Big Band; The Matthew Herbert Big Band, Syd Lawrence Orchestra; BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra; Glen Miller Band UK and the Joe Loss Orchestra.  He played for many years in the West End, holding the trombone chairs in many productions including ‘Fame’, Barnum, Charlie Girl, Movin’ Out, Ziegfield, and Some Like It Hot, and been involved in numerous others including  42nd Street, Starlight Express, Spamalot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Crazy For You, Guys & Dolls, Copacabana, 5 Guys Named Mo, Camelot, Oliver, Carmen Jones, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Chicago, West Side Story, Me and My Girl, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret, Sister Act. and more.

Bill Skelton – trombone

Photo of Bill Skelton

Bill was born in Sheffield and developed an early interest in music, particularly the trombone, which he took up at the age of 11. He swiftly gained proficiency and his emerging talent took him to the New Sheffield Symphony Orchestra aged 15.  Bill was always in demand, playing in several Sheffield bands and orchestras, and at tea dances as part of Sheffield City Hall dance band.  Following his successful audition for the Syd Lawrence band, he filled trombone slots in many big bands with his expanding professional career taking him from Coventry to Bristol and finally to Blackpool, playing with many stars of the light entertainment world such as Mike Reid, Peters and Lee, Dickie Henderson and Arthur Askey.

His career took a different tack as he joined the RAF Music Services and played in RAF bands for a wide variety of events, including the Royal tournament, the Edinburgh and Berlin tattoos and as a soloist with the Massed Bands of the Royal Air Force during the tour for the Battle of Britain anniversary.  He worked in Germany for over three years and served as a medic in the Gulf war.

In 1998 Bill left the RAF and, having gained a performing diploma from the London College of Music, started sharing his passion for music with the next generation, conducting children at the Amersham Music Centre and teaching brass and theory of music at several schools.  During this time, Bill also led the BBO (Berks Bucks and Oxon Big Band) for 14 years.  He continues to perform regularly with the BBO and a number of other local bands.

Shortly after joining Vale Band we found ourselves without a conductor at short notice, and Bill valiantly stepped into the breach and directed two concerts. He has now happily returned to the back row and his trombone.