Meet the NCBF Adjudicators who listen and offer feedback to the participating wind and big bands that perform at our regional and national festivals across the UK!


DUNCAN STUBBS was born in Stoke on Trent and began his musical career at an early age playing bassoon in local orchestras and shows. By the age of 14 he was already organising concerts and arranging music for his friends. He was awarded his music degree at York University, specializing in performance, followed by a year's postgraduate study in Birmingham specializing in music education. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1983 as a member of the Central Band of the RAF and was commissioned as a Director of Music in 1990, being one of the youngest ever commissioned Directors of Music in all three Services. He went on to serve with all the RAF Bands and completed 2 tours in the Headquarters with responsibilities for all aspects of training and administration. Appointed as the Principal Director of Music for the Royal Air Force in November 2009, a post he held for 9 years, he finished his time with the RAF at the pinnacle of his profession.

He was responsible for performances of several National and International premiers, initiating new recital opportunities and directing new ensembles thereby generating challenges for the ever-rising standard of musicians being recruited into the Royal Air Force, at the same time maintaining the world wide reputation enjoyed by Royal Air Force music.

Responsible for instigating a successful commissioning programme to generate new music for Wind Bands he has both broadened the repertoire and supported new, talented composers. His musical experience ranges from working with musicians in schools, Universities, Conservatoire, and Community Bands to televised performances, producing and recording commercial CDs, arranging for film and composing for Wind Band and numerous ensembles as well as having led major ceremonial events with the RAF, a highlight being writing and conducting the wedding fanfare for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Duncan continued his musical studies throughout his career, being the first musician to be awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music (Directing –Wind Band) and completing a Masters degree in composition where he was awarded both the Albert Thomas Composition prize and the Primrose Ensemble Composition Prize for composition. In 2017 he was awarded the OBE for services to Military Music. He regularly conducts bands throughout the UK, adjudicates at both brass and wind band Festivals and continues to write and arrange music. When not being involved in music he can often be found, giving his ears a rest, on top of a mountain in the Lake District.

Steven Legg NCBF Trustee


STEVEN LEGGE has worked as a trombonist, conductor and music educator for over 25 years. In 2016 he was invited to conduct La Agrupacion Musical (Almeria, Spain), led the Lithuanian Youth Brass Band at the European Youth Championships in April 2017. In May 2017 he performed with the Lithuanian State Army Orchestra as guest soloist in Palanga. In October he was a featured guest soloist and an adjudicator at the 2017 Swedish National Brass Band Championships in Varnamo. He is currently the Musical Director of the Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra who have been awarded no less than 7 National Performance Awards in as many years. His professional playing career has included work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Shakespeare Company, QE2 Big Band, the Remix Contemporary Music Group (Porto) and a variety of show and theatre engagements. Steven was principal trombone for the Sunlife Band and Tredegar Brass Band and still performs regularly with both classical and jazz ensembles.

He has lectured at music conservatoires and universities in music education and, in 2015 was invited to study in America to research educational band methods in high schools. As a result of this work, he was awarded two fellowships to the Royal Society of Arts and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Since 2007, Steven has been heavily involved in a charitable music foundation in Lithuania supporting music tuition for young people. He continues to support the Lithuanian Brass Band Association through writing educational material, leading staff development sessions, adjudicating and conducting. Steven has a passion for researching how students learn. His research has led to the publication of a unique resource for young instrumentalists, which are available from Warwick Music under the title of Music Marvels.


SIMON PLATFORD hails from East Anglia and began his musical career playing the trumpet as a seven year old. By 13 he had passed grade eight and and at 16 had gained a music scholarship to study with the renowned cornet player Philip McCann in Yorkshire. The pair worked together for 5 years with the final three at the Birmingham Conservatoire where Simon left with a First Class honours degree in performance and he was a grand finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year Competition.

Simon has always worked in music education, his previous schools have included The High Arcal School where he led a band of 17 beginners to become National Concert Band Festival Platinum Award Winners in six years and Abraham Darby School, Telford, where as Head of Music he led a department that accumulated an amazing 23 National top awards, five performances at the Schools Prom held at The Royal Albert Hall and four International awards, including a performance at the Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York.

As a performer, Simon's main instruments are Cornet & Trumpet. He has been privileged to play with some of the country's finest bands and ensembles as well enjoying many solo recitals. As a teacher he has been a national finalist in the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Competition and earlier this year he was a national finalist for the Musician's Union Inspirational Teacher award. In October 2014, Simon was awarded an MBE for his services to music education.

Simon is currently the Director of Music at Wrekin College, Telford, a non selective co-ed independent school. He has held this position for two and half years. In this short time participation in the extra-curricular music has increased by nearly 40% and the department has been recognised by the incorporated society of musicians as one of the top 200 in the country for it's GCSE results.

Tom Davoren NCBF


TOM DAVOREN is a composer and band director with a growing international reputation. His music for bands is premiered and commissioned the world over by artists including ‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, Brass Band of Battle Creek, Cory Band, Philippe Schartz (Principal Trumpet BBC National Orchestra of Wales), Glenn Van Looy (International Euphonium Soloist) and Steven Mead (International Euphonium Soloist).

Noted performances of his work have been given at New York's Carnegie Hall, the BASBWE London Festival, Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass, World Music Contest (Kerkrade), International Tuba Euphonium Conferences, International Trumpet Guild Conferences, Schagerl Brass Festival, Swiss Solo Quartet Championship and the solo and band sections of the National Band Championships of New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain. He also has a special relationship with the Belgian ensemble Brassband Buizingen, acting as their Associate Composer since 2015. Away from bands Tom composed a fanfare for the Royal opening  of the fifth National Assembly for Wales in 2016, whilst his first work for orchestra, Tourbillon, was premiered by Denmark's Aalborg Symfoniorkester in 2017.

As a conductor Tom began his career with the BTM Band from South Wales. He has since gone on to success as Musical Director of Desford Colliery Band, Associate Conductor of the Fairey Band and Musical Director of Bristol’s Filton Concert Brass, who he has established as one of the UK’s newest championship bands. In 2015 he directed Maidstone Wind Symphony to the National Concert Band Championship title and was honoured to serve as conductor of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales in 2016.  He has also led conducting students and directed the brass band at the University of Salford since 2016. You can view Tom's contesting history at

Tom studied tuba with Nigel Seaman at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in composition having studied with Anthony Powers and Arlene Sierra at Cardiff University School of Music. In 2009/10 he was awarded a research scholarship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Welsh Livery Guild Composition Award. He was also a BASCA British Composer Award nominee in 2011, a prizewinner at the EBBA European Composers Competition 2012 and the recipient of a Harvey Phillips Award for excellence in composition, presented by the International Tuba Euphonium Association, in 2014.

Ian Darrington NCBF


IAN DARRINGTON was Director of Jazz Performance for Wigan Council Education Department from 1977 until March 2011. Whilst working for Wigan he had special responsibility for jazz education, having joined their instrumental teaching staff in September 1977. Ian was educated at Dudley College of Education, Huddersfield Polytechnic and Bretton Hall College of Education. He is the founder and director of the Wigan International Jazz Festival, now in its twenty-sixth year and co-founder of the Wigan Jazz Club now in its twenty-eighth year. He was also musical director of the award winning Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, a post he has held for over thirty years. During that time he produced sixteen albums the most recent of which is due for release in July 2011.

Through his work with the orchestra he toured France, USA (five times) Hong Kong, British Columbia, Poland, Ireland, Czechoslovakia, South Africa, the Faroe Islands, Hungary, Isael, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Australia and Romania. Artists that Ian & WYJO worked with include Maynard Furguson, Bobby Shew, Salena Jones, Georgie Fame, James Morrison, Buddy Childers, Conte Candoli, Bill Perkins, Eddie Bert, Bill Watrous, Elaine Delmar, Marion Montgomery, Jiggs Whigham, Don Rader, Don Lusher, Kenny Baker, Eric Delaney, Phil Woods and many more.

In 1997 he was awarded the Master of Arts Degree from Liverpool University and in July 2005 was awarded a PhD at the same University. The subject of his thesis is 'Trumpet Mouthpiece Design - An In-Depth Study'. At the 2000 International Association of Jazz Educators in New Orleans Ian Darrington was awarded the Humanitarian Award for Jazz Education the first non-USA musician to receive the award. In September 2000 the Rotary Club awarded Ian a Community and Vocational Award in recognition of services within the community of Wigan. In October 2001 Ian was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

Keith Allen NCBF National Concert Band Festival


Keith Allen was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London, then undertook post-graduate studies at Birmingham University and Kingston University, with a Master’s Degree from the University of West London. He played clarinet and saxophone in numerous orchestras, including working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

His previous positions include: Saxophone Tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire; Head of Birmingham Music Service; Consultant Editor: Faber Music Ltd. His current positions include: Music Director: Birmingham Symphonic Winds; Festival Director: National Concert Band Festival – the UK’s largest wind band & big band festival; ‘conductor in residence’ with Birmingham University Wind Band; Conductor: Solihull Youth Wind Orchestra and member of the Advisory Board of the London International Music Festival.

His busy schedule includes adjudicating across all musical genres at numerous festivals in the UK, as well as guest conducting in America, Spain, Latvia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Australia, China and the UK. Keith Allen founded Birmingham Symphonic Winds in 1992 and since then have achieved an unparalleled track record both nationally and internationally with more accolades for musical enterprise and excellence than any other wind orchestra in the UK. With a dedication to the creation and performance of contemporary works for this medium, BSW has premiered over 50 pieces (many of them commissions) from British, American and European composers, including Malcolm Arnold, Benjamin Britten, David Bedford, Mark Camphouse, Nigel Clarke, Michael Daugherty, Jonathan Dove, Martin Ellerby, Kenneth Hesketh, Nigel Hess, David Maslanka, Mike Mower, John Rutter, Philip Sparke, and Guy Woolfenden both in the UK and abroad. Keith Allen with BSW have recorded CD’s for Faber Music, Studio Music. and R. Smith & Co as well as 10 BSW albums and also a number of broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. Keith has worked with numerous distinguished soloists including Alison Balsom (trumpet), Juliette Bausor (flute), David Childs (euphonium), Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Hannah Marcinowicz (saxophone), Gerald McChrystal (saxophone), Linda Merrick (clarinet), Craig Ogden (guitar) and Simone Rebello (percussion).

Keith Allen is a regular visitor to America conducting British repertoire and in 2006 presented a lecture at the CBDNA Conference at the NorthWestern University, Illinois and in 2011 had conducting engagements with Minnesota Intercollegiate Honors Band, University of Minnesota Duluth Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Twin Ports Wind Orchestra. In 2013 he was ‘conductor-in-residence’ at the University of St Thomas and also guest conductor of Grand Symphonic Winds in St Pauls/Minneapolis. Since 2014 he has headed a ncbf Best of British Music trade stand at the annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago.