District Of Dunchurch Brass
District of Dunchurch Brass
MD for The District of Dunchurch Brass.

Mr Gary Smallwood

Gary Smallwood is the MD for The District of Dunchurch Brass.

Gary Smallwood grew up in North Wales where he came from a musical family. His father and four brothers played with Llay Main Colliery band and when the pit closed Gary started playing trombone with Royal Buckley Town band.


It was in 1966 when he went to Nottingham to train as a teacher that he met Allan Street, a Music lecturer at Nottingham College of Education and at that time Musical director of Championship section Markham Main Colliery Band. Allan Street invited Gary to play with the band and he did so for three years before moving to Rugby for his first teaching post.Gary has always regarded Allan Street as his mentor in Brass Band conducting.


Gary’s conducting career began with Dunchurch Silver Band where successes included wins at Milton Keynes Entertainment contest, West Midlands Association and the Radio Birmingham Competition.  


After a short break away from Brass bands he became Musical Director of Bulkington Silver Band and won the 4th Section Midland Area Championships in 1986 resulting in promotion to the 3rd Section. In 1987 Bulkington won the 3rd Section Area Championships and were promoted to the 2nd Section coming 3rd in their new section in 1988. In 1990 Gary won the 2nd Section with Bulkington by 4 clear points and the band was promoted to the Championship section. In the short space of 5 years he took Bulkington from the 4th Section to the Championship section. 


In 1993 Gary was appointed Musical Director of Bedworth Brass. In 1994 they came second in the Midland area and won many contests. The Band was promoted to the second section before Gary left the Band in 1995 due to ill health. 


Since his retirement as a Headteacher Gary has once again taken up the baton, both with District of Dunchurch Brass and on a freelance basis. He has stepped in at Avonbank (Evesham) whilst their conductor had major surgery and in 2009 he was invited to conduct Cubbington Silver at the Midland area Championships taking First prize in the 3rd Section. He went on to take 3 rd  prize at the National finals at Harrogate and won the West Midlands Brass Band association 3 rd  Section in December of that year.