Bandmaster : Ian Cole

Ian is the longest serving member still in the band, joining as soon as he was able to, a year after the band was formed in 1969. Ian has always played side drum in the band, and occasionally still plays anything he can hit.

Ian took over as Bandmaster in 1974 and has led the band through some hard times and some very good times since, leading the band to a BYBA National final win in 1992, and more recently parading in front of HM the Queen in Windsor Castle in 2012. Ian also holds the post of Group Scout Leader of the 14th Eastleigh Scout Group, and has recently taken retirement from a hectic job at BT, giving him more valuable time to spend with his young grandchildren.

Director of Music: Greg Walker

Greg has been a member of the Scout Association since he was six years old and joined the band in late 1999. He originally joined the clarinet section, as at the time he was too small to carry a side drum, before transferring to the percussion section in 2001. He has also often been found amongst the saxophone and brass sections. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Greg gained a BA(Hons) in Music from the University of Southampton, graduating with first class honours in Percussion performance, music technology and conducting.

Greg took over as Director of Music in the summer of 2008 after being Deputy DoM for 2 ½ years. He takes all of the concert and marching band rehearsals and conducts all events alongside overseeing the general day to day running of the band. Greg is Assistant Group Scout Leader at the 14th Eastleigh Scout Group, and teaches percussion, woodwind and brass both privately, and for the award-winning Hampshire Music Service, where he is also a world music specialist and the in-house instrument technician and repairer.

Greg also plays and conducts many other local professional and amateur bands, with recent performances as Principal Percussionist and Deputy Bandmaster with the Band of the Hampshire Constabulary and as guest percussionist with HM Band of the Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) and the Waterloo Band and Bugles of the Rifles..

Assistant Bandmaster: Jane Montgomerie

Jane’s musical life began early; her mum can recall her singing in her cradle in the maternity unit shortly after being born!

Jane has been playing the flute since she was 9 years old and was a member of Thornden Wind band, Thornden Orchestra and the Southampton Flute Orchestra, Flautissimo. With her many musical extra-curricular activities, she actually decided not to study Music for GCSE! However, she continued to learn musical theory alongside practicing the flute and is proud to have gained her Grade VIII in 1995.

She only joined the Guide Association in 1993, as a Ranger, after seeing her sister perform on stage at the Mayflower in the Guide show ‘Showtime’. Not long after, Jane performed in many Eastleigh Gang Shows and the subsequent Showtimes, singing and dancing on ‘Blue Peter’ as well as at the Mayflower. Eastleigh Gang Show played a significant part in Jane’s life. Not only did she meet other members of the Spitfires whilst performing, she also met her husband, Alex. Although when he first saw her, she was wearing a wig and beard!

Jane has now spent over 20 years in Girlguiding, as a Ranger, Young Leader, Brownie Guider and Senior Section Leader. After gaining the Queen’s Guide Award in 2004, she finally felt she had some spare time to join the band and has been a devoted member ever since. However, she can now be found playing a tenor saxophone as well as the flute and piccolo.

In her day job, Jane is a primary school teacher, which often involves her using her musical skills in numerous guises; whether it be leading singing assembly, teaching music lessons or rehearsing for the end of term productions.

Jane is often accompanied to band rehearsals by her 4-year-old son, Ethan, who already has ambitions of joining the band when he turns 8.

Jane oversees the running of the Merlins Training Band, helping to give members a 'step up' into the main Concert and Marching Band.

 

Deputy Director of Music: Nick Kimber

Nick's musical life started in the local church choir in Beddington, Surrey, aged about 10. Retiring from the Head Chorister role at 16, and subsequently moving away, he continued to tour with the choir as an adult, singing in most of the South's cathedrals including St Paul's and Westminster Abbey. In Southampton, Nick spent 10 years with the Operatic Society appearing in several productions at the Mayflower, Nuffield, and Buxton Opera House. He also sang with a small jazz choir "Dangerous Rhythm" who performed at a number of local venues, including the Turner Sims. Through school, Nick learned classical guitar, oboe and saxophone, the latter under leading jazz saxophonist Mark Lockheart. He played and toured with various youth bands, was principal alto saxophonist with the Sutton Schools Concert Band, and then with the Southampton University Wind Band. In more recent years, Nick has enjoyed playing in pit bands for several local musical societies.

Moving up to Chandler's Ford, Nick discovered the Thornden Community Wind Band, and then joined the Spitfires with his daughter, Hannah, in the summer of 2011. Playing and marching was a new challenge!

Nick is also a church bell-ringer and is currently President of the University ringers. In his day job he gets to drive model ships and submarines (no, really!) around Europe's largest indoor basin, in Gosport.

Nick oversees the rehearsals of the Dance Band and Saxophone Quartet, and strives on encouraging the younger players through their musical careers.