Concert & Training Bands
The responsibility for the musical output rests largely with the two conductors:
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The Sandwich Concert Band
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Jake Convery was born in Congleton, Cheshire in 1993 and was educated at their local comprehensive school before a move to the south coast facilitated a need to pursue A Levels at Brockenhurst College in the New Forest. Throughout their childhood, youth and into adulthood, Jake played in a number of amateur wind and brass bands as well as amateur orchestras as a trombonist and tubist. The highlight of their band career was coming in 3rd place at the North West area competition with the Cooperative Funeralcare Band (North-West). Jake then moved abroad to teach music and languages for a number of years, with stints in the UK whilst working semi-professionally as an organist and choir director for a number of churches in London. Upon their fulltime return to the UK in 2022, they enrolled as an undergraduate student of Music at Canterbury Christ Church University as a first study organist and with a second study in harpsichord. Jake also directs the university music society’s early music ensemble and is the organ scholar to the chapel at CCCU. .
Jake Convery - Conductor, Concert Band 2023 -
Kate Robinson - Conductor, Training Band 2004 -
Simon began learning the flute from age 8 and shortly after joined his local town band where he moved up through the sections to eventually become assistant conductor. He was 13 when he first conducted in a concert and then began taking on more responsibility; conducting the band for rehearsals and summer fete engagements. Simon then read Chemistry at Liverpool University and successfully auditioned to conduct the University Wind Orchestra for two years, which included a concert in the Metropolitan Cathedral. He then spent a year in Harlow, Essex where he joined Harlow Town Band playing on a first flute desk and conducting the band in warm-ups and sectional rehearsals. In 2003, along with Jules Prosser, he co-founded the Pfizer Wind Orchestra and continued with them when they reformed as the Sandwich Concert Band. Simon has attended several conducting courses including the international Canford Summer School of Music where he received tuition from wind band experts and conductors Tim Reynish and Mark Heron and was selected to conduct the Symphonic Wind Band in the end-of-course concert. He was also successful in gaining a place on a short conducting course held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Simon Gayton - Conductor, Concert Band until 2011
I n January 2012 Simon relocated to Yorkshire to take up a new job in Leeds. We were very sorry to see him go. He gave so much to the band over the years, in terms of time, energy and commitment; and we all wished him, his wife, Gillian, and son, Oliver all the best in their new life ‘up north’. Following his final concert, he was presented with a caricture drawn by David Clare (right) and a rendition of Ilkley Moor Bah Tat by the brass section. The band is continuing to play, and Simon joined us as guest conductor at our 2012 summer barbecue.
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Ben Lunn - Conductor, Concert Band 2014 - 2015
Sandwich Concert Band in Setember 2014 were pleased to announce the engagement of their new conductor for the Concert Band: Ben Lunn is a composer and conductor based in Ramsgate. He studied composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and was taught composition by Peter Reynolds and taught conducting by Dr. John Traill. Ben graduated in July 2014 with 1st Class Honours and the Composition Prize. Ben has conducted a variety of groups from orchestra and choir to chamber ensembles. Other interests outside of music include, reading literature and poetry and a keen interest in art. Our first rehearsal with Ben was on 10th September after the summer break. In March 2015 , Ben conducted his last concert with us as he resigned to pursue other musical ventures. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his dedication and time over the past months.
Previous Conductors 2011 - 2022
Benedict Preece - Conductor, Concert Band 2012 - 2014, 2015 - 2022
Benedict Preece is principally a conductor, passionate about working with both singers and instrumentalists. While directing Sandwich Concert Band, he maintained a very busy schedule as Musical Director also of both Caritas Chamber Choir and East Bridge Chorale, and as Head of Chapel Music, Keyboard and Organist at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School. He has also directed collaborations with Canterbury’s Festival Chamber Orchestra and Kent Sinfonia, and with Caritas has released recordings to critical acclaim. A keen composer, his choral works are regularly performed on both sides of the Atlantic, and often featured on Caritas recordings. Benedict began his career as a Chorister of Canterbury Cathedral, continuing to sing for many years after as a Deputy Tenor Lay Clerk. At Trinity College of Music, London, he specialised in horn and natural horn under tutelage of Roger Montgomery and subsequently with Anthony Halstead. As an organist, he studied with Dr. David Flood and both organ and composition with Neil Wright. Benedict developed his orchestral conducting with Stephen Portman (a former student of Monteux and Szell) and with Peter Stark. He was appointed Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar 2017-2018 and studied with, amongst others, Eamonn Dougan and Harry Christophers. In December 2022, Benedict directed us for the last time at our Christmas Concert, having led, encouraged and challenged the band for 10 years, with precision and dedication. We wish him the very best with his considerable schedule of musical pursuits.
Benedict Preece - Previous Conductor, Concert Band