Ipswich Hospital Band Musical Director

James Symington

James Symington has an excellent reputation as an all-round musician, conductor, composer, arranger and performer. He has been a professional trumpet player in the British Army Band Colchester since 2015 and holds the rank of Lance Corporal. He has played with musicians such as Pete Letanka, Natalie Williams, Ray Simmons, David Childs, Pete Long, Mike Lovatt, Gordan Campbell, Matt Skelton and has played for the Royal family on many occasions inside and outside Buckingham Palace.

As a student, James was accepted into Junior Trinity College of Music where he studied trumpet with Andy Hendrie (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra), composition with Edmund Joliffe and conducting with Andy Morley. Whilst at Junior Trinity, in 2010, James was awarded the Philip Jones brass prize for the best brass performer, and the Chappell Composition prize for best young composer. He was principal trumpet with the Junior Trinity Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Music Theatre. One of the highlights at his time in London was performing as a featured soloist at the Royal Festival Hall (South Bank).

James studied music at Cardiff University and was awarded a Bachelor of Music with honours in 2013. He studied trumpet with Welsh National Opera trumpet player Martin McHale and composition with Professor Arlene Sierra. In his final year, James was chosen to conduct the university big band and as their musical director, James took the band to the BBC Hoddinott Hall and won awards at the Great Northern Big Band Festival.

James joined the British Army and the Corps of Army Music. After a short time at the Royal Military School of music, Kneller Hall, he was assigned to The Band of The Parachute Regiment in 2015. After only a short time, James became the principal trumpet player and travelled with the band on many tours abroad including to Canada, Germany, Bangladesh, Georgia, Albania and France. Most recently, James’ composition ‘Men at Arms’ won a national competition to become the official march of the Army Benevolent Fund, the soldier’s charity.

James is looking forward to taking the Ipswich Hospital Band from strength to strength and enjoying conducting many successful performances.

Our previous musical directors, Band Master & Assistants

2015 – 2019Rachel ChesterMusical Director
2004 – 2014Peter GrayMusical Director
2004 – 2019Bernard WestrenAssistant Musical Director
2002 – 2004Brian StansmoreMusical Director
1993 – 2001John AldertonMusical Director
1990 – 1993Malcolm RobertsBand Master
1990John WeltonMusical Director
1988 – 2002Guy NicholsAssistant Conductor
1988 – 1990Maurice HoughDeputy Band Master
1988 – 1990Ian HalcrowBand Master
1980 – 1988Brian StansmoreBand Master
1979 – 1980Brian MurphyBand Master
1976 – 1988Phil WattsDeputy Band Master
1976 – 1979Dennis JuniperBand Master
1976 – 1979David ParkerMusical Director