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date: 14 October 2019

Gladney, Johnlocked

  • Trevor Herbert

Extract

(b Belfast, Aug 12, 1839; d Manchester, Dec 12, 1911). English clarinettist, brass band conductor and teacher. He was the son of a military bandmaster and had a precocious musical talent; by the age of 11 he was appearing as a piccolo soloist with Louis Jullien’s orchestra. He also appears to have been a talented pianist, but it was as a clarinettist that he made his mark as a player. After touring with a number of theatre bands he became leader of the Harrogate Spa Band, and in 1861 he joined the Hallé Orchestra in which he remained for most of his playing career. In the 1850s he started to conduct brass bands, and he went on to have influential associations with the most successful Victorian bands, particularly the Meltham Mills Band. At the time of his death Gladney was widely referred to as the father of the brass band movement. With two other successful Victorian band conductors, Edwin Swift and Alexander Owen, he shaped the format and idiom of the British brass band. The standard instrumentation comes from their preferred combination of forces (...

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