Copyright © 2013 White Cliffs Symphonic Winds
Combining contemporary music with traditional favourites
After a distinguished musical career spanning 27 years in the Royal Marines Band Service, Graham moved to education in 1990. Initially teaching privately at Kings School, Canterbury, he subsequently became full-time Head of Music at St Edmund’s Catholic School, then Head of Performing Arts and finally Arts Director. Through his efforts, the school acquired specialist performing arts status in 2003, a status that it still retains today.
His commitment to music, particularly in the field of youth and education extended well beyond his local responsibilities at St Edmund’s. He is an examiner for Trinity College of Music and travels the world in that capacity. He has been a regular adjudicator for the National Youth Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall in London and for the Kent Young Musician of the Year contest.
Graham took his Masters in Music, specialising in conducting and trombone performance in 1998 and over the years has been the director of various local ensembles, including Betteshanger Brass Band, Folkestone and Hythe Orchestra, and more recently, the St Edmund’s Symphonic Community Wind Band, which has now been re-named the White Cliffs Symphonic Winds. He has given Wind Band workshops in the UK, and also abroad, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand being the most recent.
In 1995, after being secretly nominated by his A-level pupils, Classic FM awarded him a Certificate of Merit in their competition “Music Teacher of the Year”.
Graham was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2010, and also named Champion of the Arts for the South East in the same year.
His principal instrument is the trombone.
The band was formed in 2004 by Graham as a community project when St Edmunds school acquired Performing Arts status. Professional and semi pro musicians as well as proficient amateur and student musicians were invited to join.
The aim was to work at challenging contemporary wind band music and offer between three and four charity concerts a year. Since then the band has raised over twenty five thousand pounds for international, national and local charities.
The band has now returned to St Edmunds Catholic School with a new name and currently has over sixty musicians who rehearse on a weekly basis at the School on Old Charlton Road, Dover. See Forthcoming Concerts for directions.