Smallwood is the MD for The District of Dunchurch Brass.
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
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.
conducting career began with Dunchurch Silver Band where successes
included wins at Milton Keynes Entertainment contest, West Midlands
Association and the Radio Birmingham Competition.
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
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.
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.