Godalming crest

Godalming Band

Brass band in Godalming since 1937

Musical Directors (1984 onwards)

1984-1985: Cyril Tolliday

The Tolliday family is well known within Salvation Army circles and Cyril’s background of S.A. music added a different element to the band’s music during his brief leadership.

1985-1988: Stan Willis

The leadership of ‘Stan the man’ stabilized the band after some unsettled years. He too, was a Salvationist with a background of banding with Hanwell, GUS and other top class bands. He was five times Trombone Champion of Great Britain and winner of over 200 prizes. An excellent band trainer; under his leadership the standard of the playing developed us to a level that brought several contest successes.

1988-2013: David G Wright

1988 re-established the link between Charterhouse and the band when a bright young Glaswegian was employed as their Head of Brass. Godalming Band soon appointed David as its musical director.

His musical talents are varied; from conducting Godalming Sinfonia, the Wind Band, and Godalming Youth orchestra, to a long term as Director of Opera Omnibus. The Mozart Wind Ensemble employed him as guest conductor and his Directorship of the Ben Travers Theatre ensured his continued work with Musical Theatre as well as opera.

In 1992 the band made its first (and only) appearance at the finals of the National Brass Band Championship. During the same year, recorded its first cassette, ‘Flourish’.

Under David’s direction, the band continued to enjoy frequent success at performance and entertainment contests and his own character brings a certain ‘panache’as he compered most of our concerts, whether to raise funds for running the band, or for local and national charities.

Various new pieces of music, commissioned by or written for the band, were performed under David Wright’s musical direction.

After an impressive and unprecedented twenty-five year ‘reign’ as Musical Director of the band, David went on to become Musical Director down the road with Farnham Brass Band.

2013-present: James Haigh

In 2013, a long-time player with the band, James Haigh became our latest Musical Director. He grew up in a musical family and played for a number of bands for many years as a soprano cornet player, including Chalk Farm Band.

After taking a degree in music at Bournemouth University and spells as Musical Director at Farnham, Bournemouth and Verwood groups, James returned to the area and soon joined the band again as our MD.

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