MD John Goold

johngooldBetteshanger Colliery Welfare Band’s Musical Director is John Goold LRAM MISM.

John comes from Worksop in Nottinghamshire and has been interested in music from a very early age. Encouraged by his parents who were both accomplished musicians, he began to study the piano at the age of seven.

John enlisted in the Royal Marines Band Service in 1952 and studied at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal. He graduated in 1955 and was appointed to the Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSM) in Deal. After a couple of years, John was posted to Singapore to the Commander in Chief Far East Band. During this time,

John was also principal horn with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for two years. At the same time he was asked to teach for the Singapore Education Authority, a position which included teaching and conducting multinational students.

In 1959, he returned to the U.K. and resumed his position in the Staff Band (RMSM). Two years later, he was appointed Horn Instructor (RMSM) whilst studying under Charles Gregory, Principal Horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1965, John attended the Band Masters’ Course, following which he joined Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia and completed two circumnavigations of the world. He was aboard the royal yacht for a total of 7 years, the last two of them as the Bandmaster, conducting the band and orchestra for many prestigious occasions for the Royal Family.
In 1967, John achieved the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (L.R.A.M.) in Conducting. Later that year, John studied conducting at the Royal Academy of Music under Clarence Reybould and Maurice Miles.



John’s first encounter of the brass band movement was in 1970, when he was invited to conduct Southsea Silver Band, a championship section band. In 1974, after being promoted to Warrant Officer Bandmaster, John was appointed Chief Instructor of the Royal Marines School of Music, where he was responsible for the training and music education of all students until his retirement in 1978.

John Goold (centre) conducting Betteshanger Band, 1970s


For many years, John was a member of The British and International Federation of Music Festivals as a professional adjudicator for The Federation of Festivals, an umbrella body for competitive arts across the UK and beyond. John retired from the Royal Marines Band Service in January 1978, after 26 years, and embarked on a career as a freelance conductor, adjudicator, and music teacher. Whilst teaching, he also continued with his horn playing, playing with many of the top London orchestras and performing concerts, recordings and radio and T.V. broadcasts.

Soon after John’s retirement from the RMSM, he was invited to take on the position of Musical Director with the Betteshanger Colliery Band, an appointment which was recommended by the late Professor Walter Hargreaves. During this time, John directed the band at championship level, competing against some of the country’s top section bands including Grimethorpe and Desford at the Mineworkers’ Contest held annually in Blackpool. He also directed the band in the 1978 National Finals.

In 1984, John formed the East Kent Concert Band (EKCB) along with his wife Bridgette. The band was formed to promote wind band music at the very highest level and attracted some of the finest musicians in the county.

During 1989, John was offered the position of Musical Director with Margate Silver Band (now known as Cantium Brass) taking the band from 4th Section through the sections to First Section locally (S.C.A.B.A.) and Second Section nationally. In 2000 John led the band to a place at the National Finals, Royal Albert Hall, London after achieving second place at the areas at Stevenage. The following year (2001), the band became London & Southern Counties Champions, again qualifying for a place at the National Finals in Preston where the band gained seventh place.


Over the years, John has been in demand as a guest conductor with many of the London & S.E. region Championship Section Bands including Staines and more locally, the KM Medway Towns Band.

John is also an arranger of both military and brass band music, dedicating much of his spare time to composing and arranging music for various standards of bands.

John rejoined Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band as Musical Director in June 2012.