Darrol Barry

Darrol Barry

Darrol Barry

Born in Salford in 1956, Darrol Barry joined the local school brass band aged 14 on tuba — a surprise to both his parents and himself, as he wanted to play cornet.

His talent for music soon became apparent however (he also went on to play baritone and euphonium) and his interest in composition and arranging was encouraged by the conductor of Windsor Band, Jack Clayton, and his school music teacher.

He left school to become an apprentice joiner but continued arranging for brass bands, teaching himself harmony and counterpoint.

In 1978 he enrolled at Salford University on the pioneering LTCL course in Band Musicianship under Roy Newsome, Goff Richards and Geoff Whitham, before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Music in London with Joseph Horowitz, where he gained his Certificate in Advanced Study in Musical Composition.

His professional career soon took off as a respected freelance composer and arranger working for many of the major publishing houses such as Studio Music, Wright & Round, Bernaerts Music and Obrasso.

He returned to teach degree courses at Salford University, Barnsley College and Accrington & Rossendale College before taking up the role as Composer & Arranger in Residence for The Royal Guard of Oman in 2002.

It was a role (and country) he loved; writing for wide variety of different mediums (including two symphonies). He joked that he could find himself composing for bagpipes one minute and a full symphony orchestra the next.

His compositional output meant that he never lost his connection to the brass band world, although he also conducted a number of North West bands such as Radcliffe, Tyldesley, Gorton, Walkden and Longridge, winning titles at Pontins (Southport), Burtonwood and Preston before he left for Oman.

He also adjudicated at the Third Section National Finals, Regional Championships, National Youth Championships and the French Open.

His fine array of compositions included works for all levels — from youth to Championship Section, both test-pieces and concert repertoire. ‘Gemini’ was used at the All England Masters International Championship in 2011, whilst his popular ‘A Salford Sinfonietta’ was used as a set-work for the 1994 Second Section Regional Championships.