In celebration of David Ruel

David was a much loved and respected conductor who was best known locally for his long and successful association both as conductor and compére of the then Friary (Meux) Guildford Brass Band.

David started his playing days on the bugle with the local Boys’ Brigade company in Yiewsley, Middlesex and was taught trumpet at school by Stan Tamplin, the then brass instructor at the RAF School of Music, Uxbridge.  From playing the bugle he went on to teaching both Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades’ Drum and Bugle Bands, and to adjudicating at competitions throughout London and the South of England.

In his formative years, David played solo cornet with the Yiewsley and West Drayton Band.  After moving on to the then Hillingdon Borough Band as player / bandmaster and following a house move the Camberley Band, David returned to the Yiewsley and West Drayton Band as conductor in 1981.

In 1983 David went to work overseas in Singapore where he formed a brass band in conjunction with the Singapore St. John Ambulance Brigade.  The main event of the year was the Annual Parade which was a very impressive occasion in the presence of the President and Prime Minister of Singapore – the band could hardly be conducted by a ‘Private’ so David was promoted to the rank of Major overnight!

On returning to the UK in late 1985 David rejoined the Camberley Band and when the opportunity arose, moved on to Friary Guildford Band (Friary Meux as the band was then known) as player / bandmaster.  David had many happy memories of conducting the band at Ascot Races, on board the QE2, at the Inn on the Park in St. Helier, Jersey and of course at many of the then Friary Meux public houses throughout the South of England.

David for several years spent some seven months of the year travelling overseas on business and as such banding took a back seat.  However, he was still able to help a number of bands and later with the winding down of his overseas travel saw a return to the Friary Guildford Brass Band as player / bandmaster.

One other such band that David helped was The Cobham Band and on the departure of their then conductor was approached by the band’s chairman to take over, which he did in 2004 and remained with the band for some seven and a half years.  During this period David moved the band forward, improving its standard of playing and most importantly the consistency in its level of performance at rehearsals and on the concert and contest stage.

As well as achieving a number of contest prizes, the band performed at London’s most historic and prestigious landmarks including Westminster Abbey, Kensington Gardens and Greenwich Royal Parks and held its main annual concert at the Yehudi Menuhin Concert Hall with guests such as Ian Porthouse (former Principal Cornet of Black Dyke Mills Band), Tredegar Town Band’s ten piece brass ensemble and trombonist Stephen Sykes – the then BBC Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year.

After leaving The Cobham Band David continued to work successfully with a number of bands including Yiewsley & West Drayton Band and Alder Valley Brass.  He was also integral to the success of Tredegar Band.  David brought a level of professional business acumen and expertise in support of their Musical Director Ian Porthouse, that helped the band to renewed success and an increased artistic profile which saw the band ranked number two in the world.

In addition, David served as the National Secretary of The National Association of Brass Band Conductors and as an Executive Committee member of The Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association.

David was appointed Musical Director of the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band on Thursday 29th September in 2016 with the band enjoying a renewed enthusiasm and success under his baton.

It was with great shock and devastation that David unexpectedly passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on Monday 22nd April 2019 at the age of 68.  David took the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band to new heights and stretched its horizons to greater goals.  The band will be forever indebted to him for his leadership, musicianship, friendship and generosity – he will be sorely missed and greatly celebrated.