Honorary Patron – Dr. Nigel Clarke

Following his dedication of Heritage Suite to Eynsford Concert Band in 2009, we were delighted that Dr. Nigel Clarke agreed to be an Honorary Patron of Eynsford Concert Band.  We are thrilled to formally recognise his continued support, vision and guidance that he provides to us and the exciting projects we have planned for the coming years.

NIGEL CLARKE began his musical career as a military bandsman but a developing interest in composition took him to the Royal Academy of Music to study with Paul Patterson.

Here his striking originality and capacity for hard work were recognised by several significant awards including the Josiah Parker Prize adjudicated by Sir Michael Tippett and the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence – the Royal Academy of Music’s highest distinction.

Nigel was previously Young Composer in Residence at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Composition and Contemporary Music Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music, London, Head of Composition at the London College of Music and Media and Associate Composer to the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band.

Nigel has also been guest professor at the Xinjiang Arts Institute in north-west China and Associate Composer to the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. More recently he has become a visiting tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and in 2008 the award of Doctor of Musical Arts was conferred upon him by Salford University.

Find out more about Nigel and his achievements at


Honorary Patron – Councillor Trudy Dean

During my secondary school education in Staffs I gained a place in the Staffs Second Orchestra, being briefly promoted (beyond my skill!) to the first orchestra.  I gained a Hons Degree from Queen Mary College London University and completed teacher training PGCE at Senate House, London University.  I taught at Highbury Hill High School for Girls for a few years before starting a family and moving to Derbyshire with husband John.

In the late seventies we moved to Kent and I became in succession the Village Hall Booking Secretary, Parish Clerk, Parish Councillor, Kent County Councillor and currently am KCC Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition (that’s the political equivalent of starting on the shop floor.)

I love travel, reading, watercolour painting (badly), and spend a fortune buying garden plants to replace the ones that died or grew too big.

My association with the Eynsford Concert Band began when Brian Bennett (then current Chairman) asked me to help locate a venue for the first performance of “Herritage Suite” written by Dr. Nigel Clarke for the band.  I thought it would be magical to perform the premiere of the piece which traces the history of West Malling, right where it all began – in the Abbey grounds.  The performance subsequently took place in the fifteenth century chapel barn to a very enthusiastic audience.  Unfortunately I wasnt among them due to my daughter having chosen this date for her wedding!

Over the following years I have worked with the band to bring more music to local schools, where instrumental tuition is struggling due to pressure of budget and curricilum.  The lives of children can be so much enriched by enjoying playing, learning the skills of cooperation and discipline which this brings, and above all experiencing the limitless emotions which music can release. We are immensely lucky that the members of the band give up their time and commitment to bring such a high quality experience into our local schools.

I am delighted and very honoured to be asked to be an Honorary Patron of the band.


Conductor Laureate – John Hutchins

JOHN HUTCHINS has enjoyed connections with the band for many years before being appointed Musical Director in 2003.

Having graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a first class honours degree, John is enjoying a career as a freelance trumpeter.  He has performed with orchestras such as the Royal Opera House Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the English National Opera orchestra, and can currently be found performing in Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End.  John is also a keen exponent of Baroque music specialising on the natural trumpet (without valves).

John performs and records with some of the world’s finest Baroque ensembles including The Kings Consort, The Sixteen, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hanover Band, the New York Collegium and the Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra.

Brass coaching features highly in John’s career, encompassing work as far afield as the Vietnamese Symphony Orchestra and Wells International School of Music and Trinity College of Music.  He has also contributed to various brass publications and co-written a study book for trumpet. He is Professor of Baroque Trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music.

After more than 8 years of leading our band to new heights of achievement and challenging us with new musical direction and performance opportunities, we were all sad to hear that 2011 would be his last as our Conductor.

Following the appointment of Mike Smith as our new Musical Director in early 2012, we were delighted that John agreed to continue his long association with us by accepting the position of Conductor Laureate.  In this role, and alongside our Honorary Patrons, John will continue to promote and support Eynsford Concert Band, as well as making occasional appearances in front of the band at rehearsals, and perhaps the odd concert in future.