Cardwell steps down from great Roller coaster ride after 18 years

Graham Cardwell has stepped down from the role of Musical Director of the Rolls Royce (Derby) Band after 18 years at the helm.

Rolls Royce
  The band enjoyed considerable contest and concert success under Graham's direction

After 18 years at the musical helm, Graham Cardwell has stepped down from the role of Musical Director Rolls-Royce (Derby) Band.

4BR was informed that the "difficult decision"has been taken due to his increased work commitments.

Pivotal role

During his tenure, Graham played a pivotal role in elevating the band's status — not least as a contesting force in rising from the Fourth to the First Section. The band also gained a respected reputation as an entertaining concert ensemble.

Under his baton the band won the Midlands Area Third Section title in 2017 (above) and came runner-up in the Second Section Area battle in 2018, 2019 and again in 2023.

In addition to four National Finals appearances the band also claimed the Bolsover, Leicester and NEMBBA titles.

Extremely proud

Graham Cardwell told 4BR: "When I joined in January 2006, I had no idea that the partnership would last for such a long time. Looking back, I'm extremely proud of what we did together; from contest successes to putting on fantastic concerts."

Expressing his gratitude towards the band members, past and present, Graham acknowledged their hard work, commitment, and friendship throughout his tenure.

He concluded with heartfelt thanks, leaving with he said, "cherished memories" from working with "many fine musicians" and in making "as many lifelong friendships".


In response, Band Chairperson Will Howarth said: "Obviously we're incredibly disappointed to lose Graham's leadership but understand and respect his need for a break. We'll miss his musical input but have no intention of losing his friendship."

A new appointment will be announced in due course.

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