Our founding Musical Director, Andrew Crawford, passed away suddenly in August 2023. The Committee and members of Leeds Concert Band wish to recognise his outstanding contribution to the band during his tenure, between 2010 and 2023.
In 2008, Andrew was appointed to be conductor of the Wind Orchestra (as it was known at the time) at the then Leeds College of Music. When the college’s funding for community activities was withdrawn in 2010, he agreed to join our spin-off ensemble as musical director – Leeds Concert Band.
From the very outset, Andrew was the very heart of the band, and over a thirteen-year period, led us through a wonderful musical journey.
The band played our first concert under Andrew’s direction at Chapel Allerton Festival in September 2010, and his final concert with us was to be at Halifax Minster in June 2023.
In the many dozens of performances he prepared us for, the pieces Andrew chose were many and varied, covering the light classical repertoire, concert and military band standards, contemporary pieces and of course, musical theatre numbers, reflecting his own love of the genre. Andrew particularly enjoyed preparations for our annual Christmas concerts, with Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival now the band’s final sign-off for any such event!
He brought many qualities to the band, including the desire to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for making music. His encouragement to every band member to be the best they could be, and his ability to get the best from us collectively, will never be forgotten.
Andrew’s legacy is a thriving community band that will continue to play together and to continue their musical journey into the future.
We are honoured to have had the opportunity to pay tribute to Andrew at his memorial service on October 8th 2023, fittingly at Halifax Minster, playing Elgar’s Nimrod and Chaconne from Holst’s First Suite.