Ian Mitchell was born in Scunthorpe in 1968, and started studying the classical guitar at the age of 7 under John Gladwin, the trombone at the age of 9 and the piano at 11. By the age of 14 Ian had gained a distinction at Grade VIII on the trombone and was studying trombone at Huddersfield University under Barrie Webb.
On July 2nd 1985 he enlisted into Junior Leaders’ Regiment (Royal Armoured Corps) where he spent two years training prior to passing out into the regular Army on 28th August 1987. Having completed his musical and military training Ian had qualified as an Associate and later a Licentiate of the London College of Music, a grade VIII pianist, and the winner of prizes for brass playing, piano playing, violin playing and theoretical studies; he was cap-badged to join the Band of the Blues and Royals, where on 10th November 1987, he commenced his Equitation Training in Windsor, a course which he completed in Knightsbridge in May 1988.
In 1989 Ian attended the year long Pupil’s Course at the Royal Military School of Music where he won the Cousins Memorial Prize, the Cassell’s Prize and the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal. During the summer concert season of 1990, he became the only Pupil ever to conduct his own original march in a concert on the bandstand at Kneller Hall.
In 1993, as a Lance Corporal, he left the Blues and Royals Band for a year to take his place upon the Household Cavalry Musical Ride; during that year the Ride toured the UK, Germany and Holland. He returned to the Band in December 1994.
During his 10 years of service with the Household Cavalry he served in the UK, Canada, North America, Germany, Bosnia, Cyprus, Holland and France.
In January 1998 Ian took his place on the Student Bandmaster Course at the Royal Military School of Music; he graduated in November 2000 having won the Original Composition Prize for his Callithumpian Concert Overture, and the Choral Composition Prize for his setting of Wordsworth’s Reflections.
Having been awarded a BA (Hons) Degree specialising in composition and conducting, Ian was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One and appointed Bandmaster of the King’s Division Normandy Band in Weeton, Lancashire, where he took post in January 2001. Over the next four years, Ian served in the UK, Canada, The Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland.
In November 2004 he had the privilege of being appointed Bandmaster of the Irish Guards. During this time Ian had the honour of conducting the band on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, St James' Palace, and Windsor Castle; the Band of the Irish Guards have played many of Ian's arrangements and compositions in high profile concert and parade engagements such as Music on Fire, Viva Musica, Trooping the Colour, Household Division Beating of Retreat, and Changing of the Guard.
Ian has served on Military Training Teams sent to Ghana and to Ethiopia to work with their respective musicians. In 2008 Ian was awarded a gold medal for his services preparing the musicians of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for a huge parade in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Ghana's independence from Great Britain.
In 2005 Ian was granted the status of Graduate of the City and Guilds Institute (GCGI) in leadership and management; this was upgraded to Member of the City and Guilds Institute (MCGI) in April 2007.
In September 2008 Ian took up his final military appointment; that of Bandmaster of the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band based in Catterick, North Yorkshire; he will leave the Army in August 2010.
The main highlights of Ian’s career have not only been the foreign tours or the high profile concert venues, but also the opportunities to be able to compose for a professional quality wind band, and to conduct his own music in front of large audiences. Performances have included Viva Musica - a set of three large-scale fanfares composed for three annual events at the Cadogan Hall, Chelsea; Overture-Music on Fire - composed for the bi-annual outdoor massed-bands' concert at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; String Quartet No. 1 premiered by the Allegri Quartet in Durham in 2010.
During his career Ian has held full-time civilian conducting appointments such as conductor of Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band, Potters Bar Town Band, Enfield and Potters Bar Contesting Band, and Da Capo Concert Band. Ian is currently studying for his MMus (Composition) at Durham University.
Ian Mitchell is married to Caroline and has four children.
Visit Ian's Site at http://www.ianleemitchell.com/