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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 Band and the Centreal Band of The Royal British Legion, 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. Hamphire. During that time he composed a march called ‘The Rod and Serpent (The March of Surrey Ambulance Service)’. This was to mark the occassion of final annual awards ceremony of the Surrey Ambulance Service prior to its merger with Sussex and Kent Services in 2007, now 'SECAmb'.

In 2008 David was appointed the Musical Director for the Odiham and District Scout Fellowship Pantomime. In the same year. 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, and 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.

In 2011, David acted as the Musical Director for the opening of the new Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. stadium, performing with Martin Toal in front of 17,000 football fans for the opening ceremony & match.

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 Officers Mess for the then RAF Chivenor as a teenager with Barnstaple RBL Band. So he asked the MVC of Sailsbury and Aldershot if they would perform the  Late Queen ELizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee song 'Sing'  composed by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber which David then transcribed for military band choir,  his arrangement was subsequently requested to be performed by the Bands within the UK Armed Forces.

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 band is very grateful for all the public who have supported the band and it's ideal over the last 10 years, and that  Davids 'idea' in the Autumn of 2013, to form a band which will be self sufficient, but main objective is to represent and support the fund raising activities of the UK National Charity 'Help for Heroes' through its musical performances.


Thank you all of you and David and the band members hope to see you at any of their performances in this their 10th Anniversary year.

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