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Director of Music
David A. Vaninetti-Smart FLCM


David began his musical career at the age of 13 in his home town in North Devon.  In 1987, he joined the Army as musician and left in 1998 having held the position of Principal Oboist of the Life Guards Band of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

His musical portfolio since leaving the military has grown from strength to strength, performing with many ensembles including The Royal Marines Association Concert Band and the Central Band of The Royal British Legion,  Farnborough Symphony Orchestra, as well as forming a chamber music ensemble.

David was appointed Director of Music of Farnborough (Hants.) Concert Band of the Royal British Legion in 2003 and during his 10 year tenure the band had a major transformation both visually and musically, which was his vision. During that time he composed a march called ‘The Rod and Serpent (The March of Surrey Ambulance Service)’, to mark the occassion of final Surrey Ambulance Service Annual Awards Ceremony prior to its merger with Sussex and Kent Services in 2007, now South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).

In 2008 David’s work entered the realm of popular culture having received a request from MTV to provide a band and music for MTV's 'Gonzo's 5th Birthday Party' in Shepherds Bush. As a direct result of the successful performance for MTV, the following year in 2009, he was invited to take the Farnborough RBL Band to perform at the popular  'Field Day Festival' in London, where an NME review of the band stated "the hardest working musicians on site".

Following on from the success of these performances he was asked to provide similar line-up for the Brit Awards VIP after show party in 2011.  This led to an event which will probably never be replicated, as much to the surprise of everyone David's cover version of 'Forget You' was conducted by the artist himself, Cee-Lo Green. David was asked to return in future years to provide a similar musical front line.


Part of his duties with Farnborough RBL included the position as Musical Director of the annual 'Aldershot Proms Extravaganza'. For the 2012 concert David worked with the highly acclaimed and 'as seen on television', Salisbury Plain and Aldershot Military Wives Choirs. This had a close connection to home for David, as the original Gareth Malone MWC was created  at the Royal Marines Barracks Chivenor in North Devon,  where David had performed in the Officers Mess for the then RAF Chivenor as a teenager with Barnstaple RBL Band.

David also 'dual' hatted during his time with the Farnborough RBL Band, as during 2011-2013 he was appointed Musical Director of Hart Male Voice Choir, based in Fleet Hampshire, where he enjoyed his time immensly and saw him and the choir working with Dame Lesley Garrett & Aled Jones alongside the choir. He recalls "there was never a dull moment with HMVC, and I always left rehearsals and gigs smiling, singing and feeling great."

In 2009 David attained the Licentiate diploma for Music Direction from the London College of Music, which he followed in 2016 by gaining a Fellowship with the attestation that he 'demonstrates admirable integrity, knowledge, dedication, focus and brings a great deal to the symphonic wind band world'.

On 24th January 2024 the Heroes Band will celebrate its 10th Anniversary since its formation. David has been overwhelmed by the dedication and support the band has received from the musicians who commit themeselves to it and attain and maintain the high standards of musicianship and professionalism whenever in the public domain. He could not have envisaged some of the venues, locations overseas and engagements the band has undertaken.


The David and the Band are very grateful to the public who have supported the band over the last 10 years, and that the core principles of Davids 'idea' in the Autumn of 2013 are still as strong today as they were 10 years ago on the cold rainy January night in 2014 in St. Botolphs Church, Bishopsgate when 30 musicians came together for the first time to form The Heroes Band.

David and the Band members hope to see you at any of their performances to join with them in this magnificent milestone year in the history of the The Heroes Band.

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