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John Dickinson was born in New Zealand and from a brass band background, was invited by Harry Mortimer to come to England to play with Morris Motors band in Oxford where he began to extend his experience with groups in and around the city. From there he went to the Guildhall School of Music.
After two years he was appointed second trumpet in the National Scottish Orchestra and later became assistant principal trumpet. A year at the BBC Scottish Orchestra as principal trumpet led to his appointment as principal trumpet with the Hallé Orchestra; a position he held for seventeen years until 1986.
Keen on teaching, he was appointed tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, (1977), Chetham’s School of Music(1979) and for Lancashire Education Department and for various national organisations. He also tutored students at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival where he later became Director of Music; a post he held for five years.
From 1986 to 2002 he was Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at Chetham’s School of Music where he also conducted the Brass Band, Symphonic Wind Band (Gold medallists in the UK Festival open class six times in seven years) and Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra. He is continuing to teach there and is consultant to the department.
John’s interest in brass bands continues with recent involvement in both playing and conducting with Wingates and, until 2013, working as musical director of Sale Brass.
He has always been keen on helping trumpet and cornet players of all ages to develop their own individual sound and style and is now one of the country’s most sought after teachers.