The band’s musical library consists of over 1600 pieces of music, most of which are usually available to all bands through the mainstream music publishing companies. However over the years, various composers, arrangers, musical directors and musicicians within the ‘ranks’, have written especially for Godalming Band. There is documented evidence that arrangements of certain pieces were done by the band’s first two musical directors, WJ. Ratllett and Jack Thomas although sadly, none remains in the library today.
In the 1960’s Gwyn Price conducted the band, supported by his friend and colleague Albert Meek (later the conductor of Watneys Silver Band). Amongst other pieces Albert wrote “The Blue & The Gray” while waiting to perform at a contest, and an arrangement of Beethoven’s “Egmont”; both of which we still have in our library.
Another ex-military MD in the 1970’s was Malcolm Gay, quite a prolific arranger of light music. Two of his arrangements “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Nights in White Satin” were very well received — very much “music of the time” that audiences enjoyed. That music that is still available for purchase today.
In 1986 David Lancaster, a cornet player and Charterhouse Composer In Residence joined the band as our solo cornet. A talented composer, he produced (and still is producing) many arrangements for brass bands.
Two notable works are his arrangement of Crimond which he did for our band president Harry Coombes (it was Harry’s favourite hymn tune) and Mystery Play, which the band commissioned from David; first performance was at Charterhouse in October 1991.