The Director of Music
David A. Vaninetti-Smart FLCM
David began his musical career at the age of 13 as a trombonist for Barnstaple Town Military Band and Bideford Town Brass Band. In 1987, he joined the Army and was posted to the Band of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. During his two years at the Royal Military School of Music, David took a change of course, studying flute and classical piano under Graham Mayger and Veronica Clayton respectively. It was while he was at Kneller Hall that David discovered his passion forwriting band arrangements.
After postings to Northern Ireland and Cyprus in the early nineties, David successfully passed an audition for the Life Guards Band of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. During a series of summer concerts with the Life Guards Band, David was persuaded by the Director of Music to take yet another musical change: he became the principal oboist of the Band, a position that he held until he left the army in 1998.
David’s musical career outside of the military has gone from strength to strength. He has performed all around the world, playing for all the members of the Royal Family, The Lord Mayor of London, as well as countless Ambassadors and diplomats. He has also performed for a variety of local ensembles, creating arrangements for Wind and Brass Quintets, Wind Octets and Brass and Wind Bands.
From 2003-2013, David was appointed Director of Music of Farnborough Concert Band of the Royal British Legion. During this time, David was notably asked to compose a march to mark the last ever awards ceremony of the Surrey Ambulance Service prior to its merger with Sussex and Kent Services in 2007. Premiered at the awards, ‘The Rod and Serpent (The March of Surrey Ambulance Service)’ is available to purchase directly from David.
In 2008 David was appointed the Musical Director for the Odiham and District Scout Fellowship Pantomime, arranging the performance music for the pit orchestra. In the same year. David’s work entered the realm of popular culture: providing a band for MTV's Gonzo's 5th Birthday Party in Shepherds Bush, David wrote cover versions of various songs including The White Stripes’ 'Seven Nation Army' and the Klaxons’ 'Gravity's Rainbow'.
As a direct result of the success of the MTV party, David was invited to arrange an ensemble to play in Victoria Park London for the Field Day Festival in 2009. He wrote and directed cover versions of the latest chart hits for a wind band to perform. David and his band have since returned to the festival every year with new material. An NME review of the 2009 festival praised the band as "the hardest working musicians on site".
Following on from the success of these performances at the Field Day Festival, David was asked to provide similar line-up for the Brit Awards in 2011. At the VIP after show party, Cee-Lo Green conducted David's cover of 'Forget You'. David returned as the musical director for the 2012 Brit Awards after-show party.
David passed the London College of Music Licentiate Conducting diploma in 2009 and other notable performances followed. In 2011, David acted as the Musical Director for Brighton F.C., providing a band to perform at the opening of the new stadium in front of a crowd of 17,000 football fans.
As the Musical Director of the Aldershot Proms Extravaganza concert in 2012, David worked with the highly acclaimed Salisbury Plain and Aldershot Military Wives Choirs. For this event he was asked to arrange the Queen's Diamond Jubilee song 'Sing' by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber so that the choir could perform it with the wind band. His arrangement of 'Sing' has been subsequently used by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and The Band of The Royal Logistic Corps.
In December of 2016 David became a Fellow of the London College of Music for Conducting, with the attestation that "David demonstrates admirable integrity, knowledge, dedication, focus and brings a great deal to the symphonic wind band world".