Wg Cmdr Duncan Stubbs

Principal Director of Music RAF Music Services

Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs MMus FRSM ARCM LGSM RAF

Born in Stoke on Trent, Duncan Stubbs began his musical career at an early age playing bassoon in local orchestras and shows. He was also organising concerts and arranging music for his friends from the age of 14. He was awarded his music degree at York University, specialising in performance, followed by a year’s postgraduate study in Birmingham specialising in music education.

He joined the Royal Air force in 1983 as a member of the Central Band of The RAF and was commissioned as a Director of Music in 1990, being one of the youngest ever commissioned Directors of Music in all three Services. As Director of Music of the Western Band and later of the Band of the Royal Air Force College he achieved an unprecedented six consecutive wins in the Boosey and Hawkes RAF inter-band competitions. In November 2001 he was appointed Director of Music of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, a post he held for five years. During this time he was responsible for performances of several National and International premiers, also the first ever performance, with the “Royal Air Force Squadronaires”, by any military group in the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Night Club. He also initiated new opportunities and directed new ensembles thereby generating challenges for the ever rising standard of musicians being recruited into the Royal Air Force and, at the same time, maintaining the world wide reputation enjoyed by the Central Band of the RAF. He has completed 2 tours in the Headquarters where he was responsible for all aspects of Training, Administration and Manpower planning.

In addition to his RAF commitments Duncan has continued his own musical studies, becoming the first musician to achieve the Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music (Directing - Wind Band). More recently he completed a Master of Music Degree where he received both the William Primrose and Albert Thomas Howard Composition prizes for composition. As an arranger and composer he has many successful works in the catalogues of 2 international publishers.

He regularly conducts civilian wind bands, many of which have achieved national status, and he is frequently asked to coach and adjudicate at wind band festivals. He continues to play the bassoon, albeit rarely and preferably when no one else is listening. When not performing music or being a doting father he can often be found giving his ‘ears a rest’ on top of a mountain in the Lake District.

As Principal Director of Music Royal Air Force he looks forward to continuing the challenge of maintaining the musical reputation enjoyed by Royal Air Force Music Services throughout the world.

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