LEAD TRUMPET - Louis Dowdeswell to inspire online

Issue 6088

MAPPED OUT - Host cities confirmed for European Championships

IFOR JAMES - The horn player who tried to change the horns 

John Barber on passing 25 years with Foden’s, his first rehearsal and Monte Carlo

Monday 15 March, 2021


In January 1996, John Barber embarked on a new position as the principal trombone of Foden’s Band. It was to mark the beginning of a remarkable tenure with the Sandbach organisation, with which he has enjoyed terrific success and undertaken a range of diverse musical projects.

As he marks a quarter of a century with Foden’s, the performer and educator speaks to British Bandsman editor, Mark Good, about his fascinating musical journey.


Taking his seat, John Barber flicked through the pages of the piece of music. He wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the people around him – but when the baton came down and the band started playing, he was mesmerised; only a swift kick brought his focus back into the room. The occasion was John’s first rehearsal with Foden’s Band. He was helping out on second trombone, playing under the direction of Howard Snell and sitting next to the man he was preparing to replace in the top chair, Nick Hudson, who was leaving to focus his energy on a solo career.

That first rehearsal remains etched upon John’s memory. He reflected: “Although I was due to take over on solo trombone, I went down to dep for Mike Fowles, who was then on second. I was sitting in the rehearsal and my jaw hit the floor as the band played flawlessly through some sightreading of a piece called Chi (Gary Carpenter). I was going to miss my entry then I was kicked by Nick Hudson. He says it was a nudge – he kicked me.”


Read the full feature by subscribing to British Bandsman today.