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Randolph Ryan (b. 1864) - Conductor & Solo Cornet, Kettering Town Band

Mr. Ryan was born at Farnsworth, near Bolton, and is 29 years of age. He first came to Kettering 10 years ago, with the Irwell Bank Band, to the first band contest held at Kettering. He was engaged by the Kettering Rifle Band to play with them, after hearing him on the soprano at the contest, and they were not long in finding out that Mr. Ryan was a young man of great promise as a musician, and he quickly made his mark in the town and district by his splendid playing. He did not, however, stay long with the Rifle Band, but transferred his services to the Town Band.

As a band teacher and conductor, Mr. Ryan has no equal in the Midlands, and but few in the country. The Town Band was in a very poor state when Mr. Ryan commenced with them, but he has by his extraordinary ability and perseverance made it the Champion Band of the Midlands. During the past 3 years under his tuition the band has won more prizes than any other band in England. As a soloist Mr. Ryan is exceptionally good, and as a conductor he has the men well under control, being firm but not severe, and he has won golden opinions from all who have come in contact with him. But.it is on the contest field that he has won his greatest laurels. When other bands have had their professional conductors with them, Mr. Ryan has encouraged his men with Nelson's ever-memorable words, "Kettering expects every man this day will do his duty," and his words have been almost magical in effect.

It was Mr. Ryan's ambition some years ago to qualify as a contest judge, and his ambition has since been gratified. Last year he was engaged to judge the great band contest at Bo'ness, in Scotland, also a contest Wales, and at present to judge a contest on the 13th of May at Ashby-de-la-Zouch. He has been obliged to refuse several offers on account of other engagements. In judging he has always given the greatest satisfaction, and to any contest committees who have not yet engaged a judge I would strongly recommend Mr. Ryan for a sound, honest, and fearless decision. Mr. Ryan also won a medal for best cornet last year at Eastwood Contest, (judge, J. Sidney Jones, Esq.), which proves that as an instrumentalist he is also in the very front rank.

(Report published in 1893)