Silver band’s new music director

AN Army captain performing at the Edinburgh Tattoo has become musical director of a Midlothian band.

Paul Collis-Smith has accepted the post with Newtongrange Silver Band, succeeding Nigel Boddice MBE.

The 38-year-old, from Cheshire, said: “I’ve only been in Scotland for a year and nobody knew me here, so I went along to a band practice at Newtongrange because I’ve been heavily involved in brass band music. The next thing I knew I’d been asked to become musical director, so I’m really chuffed.”

Paul started his brass band career as a cornet player in Cheshire, playing for the Cheshire County Youth Brass Band and Royal Doulton Band. At the age of 16, he realised that music was something he wanted to pursue full-time, so he joined the Army in 1990, attending the Army Junior School of Music in Dorset.

He won best brass and best overall musician prizes and joined the Royal Military School of Music in 1991 where he won a prize for exceptional proficiency on the cornet.

After a short spell with the Cheshire Regimental Band, he moved to the newly-formed Band of the Prince of Wales’ Division where he became principal cornet. In 2011, he was promoted to captain and became the director of music of the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland based in Edinburgh.