The Finest Musicians
Many famous and well-known names from the world of banding have conducted the Band, including the legendary Alexander Owen, John Gladney, Arthur O. Pearce, Harry Mortimer, Alex Mortimer, Major George Willcocks, Major Cecil Jaeger, Geoffrey Brand, Roy Newsome, Major Peter Parkes, James Watson and many more.
A feature of the Black Dyke Band over the years has been its ability to produce world-class musicians. An abundance of famous instrumentalists has, at one time or another, played with the band. In formative years players such as Ceres Jackson, John Paley and Harold Pinches, were recognised as the very best. In recent decades, Rowland Jones was a Euphonium player with the band. He had a wonderful voice and went on to become Principal Tenor at Sadlers Wells – it has been said that his training in the brass band, particularly through sight reading, was a tremendous aid to his singing career. Jack Pinches was Solo Trombone for Black Dyke at 16 years of age; he went on to become Principal Trombone in the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Two former Principal Cornets at Black Dyke, William Lang and Maurice Murphy achieved the position of Principal Trumpet with the London Symphony Orchestra. William retired in 1995 and Maurice, said by many people to be the greatest cornet player ever, retired in June 2007. Rod Franks, a former cornet player with Black Dyke was also Principal Trumpet with the London Symphony Orchestra.