Author: Rich Harvey

Richard Harvey MMus BMus(Hons) FRSM AMusTCL was born in Slough in 1973 and began learning the trombone at the age of eleven. Leaving school at sixteen, he joined the Royal Marines Band Service and studied under the renowned orchestral trombonist Albert Thompson. During his time under training Richard won the prestigious Cassel Prize – an annual instrumental competition, and was subsequently awarded a silver medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

In 1994 he was drafted to the band onboard Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia and spent the next three years travelling extensively around the world, performing to world leaders such as Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela, as well as Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Richard began conducting in earnest in 2003, and after completing the year-long Bandmasters’ Course at the Royal Marines School of Music, he enjoyed tenures as the conductor of the Warsash Community Band and Southampton Concert Wind Band – an ensemble consisting of over fifty instrumentalists – and during his time with them he led the band on a very successful tour of Bavaria.

In 2007 Richard was selected for commission, promoted Captain Royal Marines and appointed a Director of Music, and over the next six years he ran three RM bands, took a year’s sabbatical to study for his Master’s degree at the Royal Northern College of Music and served on a six-month operational tour to Afghanistan as the Adjutant of the United Kingdom Medical Group – a challenging yet rewarding experience. In 2012 Richard became the first member of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines to be admitted a Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music before retiring from the Service after a full military career in 2013.

In 2015 Richard was appointed Bandmaster of the prestigious and historic Royal Hospital School in Suffolk; only the sixth incumbent of the role since 1906, and over the next three years was responsible for running the concert band, parade band, brass ensemble, orchestra and big band; the highlight of which included a performance for HM The Queen at Newmarket.

In September 2019 Richard took up his current position as Lecturer in Classical Performance and Conducting at the University of Salford, where his duties include conducting the famous university brass band. In February 2020 Richard led the band to victory at the UniBrass contest, competing against prestigious institutions such as the Royal Northern College of Music. Richard is also the founding owner of Blast Off Brass; a workshop-based initiative to introduce brass playing to primary school pupils using the revolutionary pBuzz instruments, and in September 2020 he was incredibly proud to assume the role of Education Ambassador for Warwick Music Group. Richard said: “I have worked alongside WMG on various projects over the last five years or so, and have always been impressed by their innovative approach to music education. I am a fan of the pBuzz and use it to great effect in my workshops, and I am looking forward to incorporating the new pBugle into my sessions. I am incredibly excited to have been given this new role, and I am keen to get involved in as many projects with them as I can.”

Blog posts by Rich Harvey

A year of zoom and gloom

Sitting here at my keyboard on the last day of an incredible year, it would be easy to churn out a few hundred words on what a resilient bunch us musicians are; how we’ve made the best of a bad situation. How we have adapted to unprecedented circumstances and overcome seemingly[...]

Weathering the storm

There was a sentence in my last blog, ‘COVID-19 AND MUSIC IN HIGHER EDUCATION - A BLESSING IN DISGUISE?’, which seems to have struck a chord.  When talking about how we were adapting our performance modules at the University of Salford to accommodate the ongoing global pandemic,[...]

Covid-19 and music in higher education - a blessing in disguise?

The past few months have seen the world of music turned on its head, and higher education has not escaped the wrath of COVID-19. Back in March, a week before the announcement of the first UK lockdown, the University of Salford took the decision to close the campus, send students[...]

Everything begins with an idea….

Back in 2016 I was working in the busy music department of a school in East Anglia, where one of my roles was as the head of low brass provision, teaching French horn, trombone, euphonium, baritone and tuba to pupils from beginner to diploma standard. The school has historical[...]

Blast Off Brass workshop at BTS Youth Trombone Day

On November the 24th, young trombone players and students from around the country came together to be part of an extraordinary event where they enjoyed a whole fun-packed day of everything trombone! The British Trombone Society Youth Day in Bridgend included a variety of[...]