Musical Director biographies

Jon Audain (2014 - present)

Jon Audain Jon commenced his musical career at the age of seven playing the recorder at Recorder Club. However, the recorder didn't turn out to be the instrument for Jon and after leaving Recorder Club he was introduced to the violin and went on to play in Mockbeggar Strings, part of the Berkshire Young Musician’s Trust. Performing in different venues and on stage at an early age provided Jon with the musical bug he still exhibits today. When he was ten he began studying the keyboard and progressed to the piano where he studied with Dave Soby, classical and jazz pianist. As Jon gained confidence, he began to play in the community and at Christmas would regularly play and provide background music for a dinner for the elderly organised in conjunction with the Berkshire Fire Service.

At the age of fourteen whilst at Secondary School, Jon auditioned to play the flute and was disappointed not to pass the audition. However, salvation came in the form of his music teacher at the time, Craig Chambers, who offered to help him get started on the instrument. This turned out to be a pivotal point in his musical career and led to an audition for the Berkshire Young Musician’s Trust with Jon gaining a musical scholarship which provided lessons and the opportunity to play in the County Band and Orchestra. Whilst studying for his GCSEs and A-levels, Jon played flute in the County Flute Ensemble and Wind Band as well as playing piano in the County Jazz Band under the direction of Bernard Hazelgrove enjoying performances both on stage and at the Hexagon Theatre. Within school, Jon performed as part of the pit band for many of the concerts and productions. Jon gained his Grade 8 in flute studying under the guidance of Tessa Hawken from the Music Service.

After exams, Jon went on to read World Music and Primary Teaching at King Alfred’s College of Higher Education. He studied with Simon Solloway and explored the post grade 8 repertoire, particularly music from English and French composers such as Taffenel, John Rutter and William Lloyd Webber. After leaving university, Jon accepted a post as a primary school teacher at Locks Heath Junior School and whilst in this post, he was able to support the excellent music teacher with the School Orchestra as well as setting up a Flute Choir. The Flute Choir enjoyed great success winning the ensemble competition at the Young Musician Rotary Competition with a performance of Beauty and the Beast.

In his spare time, Jon joined the Warsash Band playing flute and later progressed to also conduct the Training Section. During 2009, Jon went part-time from teaching in schools to develop his consultancy, music and ICT strengths. He worked for Hampshire Music Service as a ‘Listen2Me teacher’ engaged in whole class teaching of the C Clarinet. After leaving Hampshire Music Service, Jon then worked as a peripatetic music teacher teaching woodwind (flute, oboe, clarinet and saxophone).

In 2014, Jon was appointed Director of Music of the Main Warsash Band. He continues to conduct the Training Section and thoroughly enjoys the challenge of working with musicians who are just beginning their music journey, those learning a second instrument and furthering the skills and knowledge of more accomplished musicians.

Jon regularly performs as a freelance musician and can regularly be seen playing the piano accompanying professional opera singers and actors as part of Living History events at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

David Michael James Gasser (1991 - 2014)

Dave Gasser Dave joined the British Army September 1963, initially joining the ‘10th Royal Hussars’ who were to be amalgamated with the 11th Hussars in 1969 to become The Royal Hussars. He spent three years at Bovington Camp in Dorset undergoing initial military and musical training during which time he become a Junior Sergeant and won the annual music competition to earn the accolade ‘Best Bandsman 1965’.

In 1966, Dave joined his Band (The 10th Royal Hussars PWO) in Munster West Germany and in 1968 he was sent to the Royal School of Music (Kneller Hall) in Twickenham where he obtained a ‘Parchment’ which was an annual musical competition for pupils attending the course of that year. He re-joined his Band in Tidworth before embarking on most of his Army career moving around Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France before doing a spell as training regiment in Catterick, north Yorkshire.

During his army career, he rose through the ranks to become a Warrant Officer and consequently became the Band Sergeant Major of the Royal Hussars PWO where he spent many happy years. As a natural process he attended another course at Kneller hall for Band Sergeant Majors which included conducting, theory and Harmony and Man Management.

Dave left the army 1987 and moved back to his place of birth with his Wife Marilyn and two sons Simon and Alan in Locksheath, and became involved with the Warsash Band in 1988. He initially played and shared conducting duties with an ex-marine musician, Ray Auberry, with a band of around 20 or so players most of which were ‘very much learners’, with no basses or euphoniums. When he joined the band it was for all intents and purposes a brass band with a clarinet player with a library that fitted into a wicker hamper, but with his connections to his old band he was able to obtain more music and slowly built the band into a wind band or military band with brass, reed and percussion. The Band continued to thrive with increased repertoire and membership and regularly performed at local events, held regular concerts, enjoyed exchange visits with the Ecole de Musique in Vannes and set up a training section to nurture new talent.

Dave can still be seen playing alto saxophone, bass guitar, clarinet, percussion and other instruments in many bands around the area.