MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Ian Knapton

Ian grew up as part of a musical, brass banding family. His enthusiasm for playing in bands started when he began playing the horn with the Corsham Band in Wiltshire at the young age of 5 years old. When Ian was 14 he took up the solo trombone seat with the band, holding the position for four years until he moved to Barnsley in South Yorkshire to study for his degree in Band Studies.

Ian decided to stay in Yorkshire and started his conducting career in November 2000 with Emley Band, taking them back to contesting after four years of absence. Ian followed this by becoming the resident conductor at Harworth Band under their professional conductor John Davis where he enjoyed 2 memorable years.

In November 2003 Ian joined Ireland Colliery Chesterfield as their Musical Director. At this point the band was close to folding with only 10 players around the stand. Under his direction the band rebuilt itself and competed in March 2004 at the Midlands area with 28 players. Since then it successfully competed at the Area contest every year, achieving better results year on year.

In 2011 Ian led Ireland to the National Finals for the first time in over 20 years, a feat that was repeated in each of the following years to 2014. Ireland Colliery, under Ian's direction, was promoted for 4 consecutive years from the 4th Section up to the 1st Section in 2015.

Ian is a believer that every person should have the chance to shine and this was the key to 12 years of success with Ireland. He developed players of all abilities to achieve success and with the help of a few other people created a great organisation with a firm base to carry on financially and securely. Ian was a key person in developing the Ireland Colliery name, putting on successful theme nights and developing key relationships with a brewery to hold the bands own annual contest and beer festival which ran for 10 years.

After 12 years of great success with Ireland, Ian felt it was time to move on and accepted the role of Musical Director with the Lindley band in Yorkshire in November 2015. Ian lead the band to its highest contest result at the area for 20 years with a 3rd place finish in the 1st section in 2016, which secured the bands safety in the section. 

But after a year with the band Ian moved on and accepted the role of Musical Director with the Kippax band in November 2016, who are one of the longest running brass bands in the world founded in 1814. In his period with the band he lead them to 5 contests and achieved 5 awards along with some great concerts. Sadly due to relocation and family commitments Ian had to resign from the band in June 2018.

Throughout Ian’s 33 years of playing he has played as a guest and a member with a number of bands including the likes of Rothwell, Carlton Main Frickley, Unite the Union and Yorkshire Coop Brass Band to name a few. Ian also has conducted bands as a guest MD on numerous occasions.  A highlight was conducting Yorkshire Coop Brass Band and the world famous Katherine Jenkins, in front of 80,000 people, in the centre of the pitch at Old Trafford for the Super League grand final in October 2008.

In August 2018 Ian accepted the role of Musical Director with Littleport Brass and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

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