Wg Cdr Duncan Stubbs

Duncan Stubbs, now Principal Director of Music for the Royal Air Force, writes about his time career after graduating from York:

"I joined the Royal Air force in 1984 and was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in 2009 on my appointment as the Principal Director of Music for the Royal Air Force. I have the responsibility for providing all the musical support to the RAF, in particular, representing the RAF on the world stage as Music Services are acknowledged as being a key player in PR and Media messaging on behalf of the RAF. This leads to exciting collaborations with National television and radio as well as involvement in major International events.

During my career I have travelled to over 30 foreign countries and have played and conducted in all the main UK Concert venues (eg. Birmingham Symphony Hall, Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall etc). Part of my current job is to oversee a commissioning programme for new music working with composers such as Nigel Hess (Central Band’s Hess recording was Classic FM CD of the week), Philip Wilby, Jo Horowitz and fellow York Alumni, Paul Mealor. Together with my predecessor we have made a series of promotional CDs recording original wind music of Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Varese, Bernstein, Hindemith and many more.

The RAF has allowed me to complete a part time MA (composition) and I have several wind band works published. While Service life is demanding it offers valuable domestic security and presents many exciting opportunities to not only make quality music and perform in the best venues but also to broaden your horizons and experiences through a wide range of activities throughout the world."