Excerpts from previous Musical Directors


Maurice Bennett was the very First Musical Director for Callington when they began their Journey back in 1995, taking the band on it's first outing at Callington Town Hall for the Portreeve, Tony Nettle.


Paul Boase ATCL 

At 16 Paul became a cornet player with the Devon & Dorset Regimental Band. Shortly afterwards he had the opportunity to transfer to the oboe, an

instrument he had always loved. After studying at Kneller Hall he transferred to The Prince of Wales Divisional Band. Paul eventually became Principal

Oboe with the distinguished Army Air Corps Band and later gained an Associate Diploma from the Trinity College London for Oboe Performance. Paul

left the Army in 2001 and moved to Callington, soon becoming MD of the revived Town Band. Among his `proudest moments` he lists the production

of the CD, the refurbishment of the bandroom after the fire, and conducting the `massed bands` concert with 80 players on the stage of Callington

School. Paul is now pursuing his orchestral interests, but will be remembered for his professional work in improving the band, and for his motto - still

important to all of us - `Enjoy Yourselves!`


Bill Leith

Our retiring MD Bill Leith writes: I was born in Aberdeen in 1938. After taking trumpet lessons at school I joined the Boys` Brigade band. I remember playing at the parade to celebrate the

coronation. I then played with the Territorial Army Band which made me decide to join the army on boys` service. So at 15 I joined the Gordon Highlanders band with the rank of band boy. This was a

wonderful opportunity to learn music and play along with some wonderful musicians.

Participation in sport was high on the agenda, and as the band had recently returned from Malaya they were very keen on hockey. We did a lot of summer engagements, at least 6-8 weeks non-stop,

mainly on the south coast bandstands. It was while playing at Bournemouth that I met Jan; whether it was the lure of the full highland dress or my looks that attracted her I dont know, but we were

married in 1962.

By now my time with the Gordons was up and I decided to transfer to the Royal Artillery Mounted Band. The fact it was called the Mounted Band didn't mean much then, the only member who knew

the front from the back of a horse was the Band Sergeant Major. I enjoyed my time in the Artillery, touring around playing mainly to units throughout the UK and Germany. When the band finally got

posted to Germany, as we had family I decided to apply to join a band that was permanently posted in GB so enlisted in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Band. It is not generally known, but the

Sandhurst Band was a corps on its own and was the smallest corps in the Army. Fortunately, I enjoyed playing marches; we did that a lot, but all the members were like me, wanting to settle, having

moved about with other bands. The result was that when we weren't playing marches, we enjoyed playing other sorts of music such as Bernstein's Candideoverture. I remember doing a broadcast on

Radio 4 and the producer passed out a piece of music which we then played live on air. When we could get time away from the Academy, we did tours. For instance we played in the Seychelles when

the new airport was opened by Princess Margaret. We also did a tour of Brazil.

Unfortunately, the government decided to get rid of the Sandhurst Band and I, having reached the rank of Staff Sergeant, was one of the first to leave. I had a year`s notice which gave me time to

organize a building business which I ran until I retired and moved to Cornwall in 2002. I joined the Callington Band and was asked to fill the position of bandmaster after a few years. I had very little

conducting experience but attended a South West Brass Band Assoc. course, which helped me a great deal. I took over as Musical Director at the end of 2009.

Ian Crop.jpg

 Ian Whittaker
I was born in Crafthole, Cornwall and there is music on both sides of my family. My grandfather played cornet in the old Sheviock Prize Band. I began to learn to play trombone at school in London at the age of twelve and originally played in orchestras and wind bands. I started, and for a number of years conducted, a local wind band. I eventually switched to brass bands and spent over 30 years playing in the Crystal Palace Band. My job was not in music but, after I left it, I was able to start conducting the Crystal Palace Training band, which I did for 7 years, building it up into their B Band.  
After leaving my job I started giving lessons in a local primary school, a new venture for them and, in the 12 years I taught there, I built up a school (mostly) brass band of between 15 and 20 players which gave occasional concerts at other primary schools in the area. Returning to Cornwall I revived the Landrake Band and played baritone for a while with Saltash Band. When an opportunity arose to play first euphonium with Callington Town Band I took it. In 2014 I became Deputy Conductor and then Musical Director in early 2015.