The whole of the brass banding world will join in sending its congratulations to the renowned trombonist and arranger Bill Geldard who has been awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Music in the 2022 Queen's Birthday and Platinum Honours.
Born in 1929, he has enjoyed a remarkable musical career, becoming a professional musician at the age of 15 and going on to play with the Central Band of the RAF during his National Service.
He was a founder member of the George Evans Orchestra, played and arranged for the Ted Heath Orchestra and worked with the likes of Johnny Dankworth, Geraldo, Mantovani and many more.
He later formed his own Tentette and Big Band and was a guest conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra and became widely admired as an inventive arranger of background music for film and television.
Bill Geldard conducted the Oxted and Horsham Borough Bands, leading both to contest victories — the latter to the Fourth Section London & Southern Counties Regional title in 1985.
He also adjudicated in Norway, whilst his arrangement 'Stardust' and 'Autumn Leaves' has become a staple of any top-class trombonist's solo repertoire. Many of his other arrangements have also found their way in band's concert programmes.
In 2019 he was the recipient of the British Trombone Society's 'Outstanding Achievement Award. Now in his 90s he remains active as a musician, leading Big Bands in his local area.