Bill Geldard, RIP

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Bill Geldard, RIP

The BTS is sad to report the passing of Bill Geldard just before Christmas, at the age of 94.

Born in 1929, Bill became a professional musician at the age of 15, going on to play First Trombone in the RAF Central Band during his National Service. He was a founder member of the George Evans Orchestra, played and arranged for the Ted Heath Orchestra, worked with Johnny Dankworth and freelanced with Geraldo, Mantovani and many others.

In the 1970’s he formed The Bill Geldard Tentette and The Bill Geldard Big Band and was a guest conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra. Recognised as one of the country’s top arrangers Bill recorded many albums of background music for TV and Film: he was also active in the Brass Band movement as a conductor, arranger, and adjudicator.

In the 1990’s Bill took part in an oral history project exploring the development of jazz in the UK, now lodged at the British Library. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1991 and a British Empire Medal in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours, both for ‘Services to Music’, and was the recipient of the 2019 BTS Outstanding Achievement Award.

Bill remained active as a musician well into his 90’s, leading Big Bands in his local area.

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