Stephen Lines

I commenced my musical life in 1961 when I took up the french horn at Gordon's School in Surrey, England. I joined the British Army in 1965 as a junior musician and continued my studies with the Royal Anglian Regiment, becoming the principal horn player at the age of 18 years. In 1967-68 I studied as a pupil for 12 months at the Royal Military School of Music (Kneller Hall). My horn teacher there was Alfred Cursue, a past member of 'God's Own Quartet' which included Dennis Brain and his father Aubrey Brain.

After performing around the world I was selected to become a student bandmaster, being enrolled on a three-year training course, again at Kneller Hall. It is there that I was taught conducting, orchestration, arranging and composition. At the end of the period I was fully qualified and took over command as the bandmaster of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. After six years I took voluntary redundancy because successive defence cuts had decimated army music by reducing the number of musicians to a barely viable state.

It was during the third 'competion' year of the course that I composed my first military march, 'Die Soldaten von Celle'. This has subsequently been recorded and several hundred scores and parts sold around the world.

Since leaving the army I have qualified as a psychologist, gained a masters degree in 'Police and Criminal Justice Studies, completed a Bachelors degree in music, and continued composing. I took up composing full time in 2005 and have since then produced more than eighty compositions and arrangements, many of which have been performed, and subsequently sold many hundreds of copies of the various scores and parts.

Much of my work has been reviewed by fellow composers on the Composers' Forum website. At the time of writing my latest score is 'The Road to Perdition' for symphony orchestra. A leading member of the Forum, Dane Aubrun, commented on the piece: I found it engaging, exciting, well structured with masterful development of the thematic material and scoring. Not the first time here I’ve thought “should I even comment” on one of your pieces except to do what I’d do faced with this work in concert – namely applaud vigorously. To me, an outstanding piece of composing that should be performed live at the earliest opportunity.