Learn more about our previous musical directors.

Newstead Brass has benefitted from working with long standing and talented conductors. These have all made important contributions to making the band successful and popular in concerts and contests.


Matthew Ludford-King

Matthew Ludford-King (2023)

Matthew Ludford-King is a young, up-and-coming conductor based in Birmingham. He graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2023 with a Masters in Brass Band Conducting and now enjoys a varied career spanning conducting, performance and teaching.


David Holling

David Holling (2022)

David Holling initially stepped in to conduct the band in June 2022 whilst our previous MD was unavailable due to family issues. David’s CV includes spells as an accomplished baritone soloist and conductor, initially with Thurcroft Welfare and subsequently The City of Sheffield Band, Silk Brass, Strata Brass, Dronfield Band, Kibworth Band, Thoresby Colliery Band and Oddfellows Brass.

The band enjoyed working with David and he continued through the autumn, preparing the band for performances in the Bolsover and Wychavon Entertainment contest with two different, challenging and innovative programmes. Successful concert programmes were performed for Ripley Music Festival, Newark Brass Explosion, the Music in Duffield classical music series and a Christmas Concert with Vicky McClure’s Dementia Choir at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal.


Jim Davies

Jim Davies (2018 - 2022)

Jim Davies directed Newstead Brass from January 2018 to the summer of 2022 leading the band during its return to the Championship Section in January 2021 (deferred to January 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic). The virtuoso cornet player and conductor now adds Newstead Brass to the list of leading bands he has worked with across the Midlands, Yorkshire and his native Wales and leaves us with many happy memories.


John Davis

John Davis (2016 - 2017)

John Davis directed Newstead Brass from Summer 2016 to the end of 2017, successfully rebuilding the band through a time of change. With increasing success as MD of Foresters Brass, John reduced his commitments with Newstead at the start of 2018.  He remains a good friend of Newstead and may still be seen at occasional rehearsals and concerts with us. 


Duncan Beckley

Duncan Beckley LTCL, FTCL, ARCM (1989 – 2016)

Duncan Beckley was Newstead Brass’ musical director from 1989 until 2016 leading the band to contest prizes across the country and promotion to the Championship section in January 2001.  He helped establish the band as one of the Midland’s leading brass bands.  With increasing requests to work with bands across the country Duncan stepped down as musical director in 2016 but continues to follow the band’s development with interest.

Brian G Wilkinson (1974 – 1988)

Brian Wilkinson was the band’s founding conductor and led the band from the Fourth Section through to the brink of the Championship Section.  A former cornet player with the CWS (Manchester) Band and peripatetic music teacher in Nottinghamshire schools he taught many local players, some of whom still play in the band today. 

Guest Conductors

The band has also been fortunate to work with several leading conductors including Richard Evans, Major Peter Parkes, Nick Childs and Garry Cutt.  The band are particularly grateful to Mareika Gray who directed the band to first place at the 2020 Midlands Regional Championships (First Section) whilst our musical director at the time, Jim Davies, was seriously ill.

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