John started playing cornet at the age of 5 and followed his father by joining the Wharncliffe Silkstone Colliery Band (now Rockingham). He soon progressed to the position of principal cornet and also gained a solo cornet position with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. In 1976 John moved to the Barrow Colliery Band (now Barnsley Building Society) as principal cornet, a position he held for 10 years, during which time the band experienced an unparalleled period of success including promotion to the Championship Section.
In 1984, John was a member of the Barrow Band Quartet that won the British Quartet Championship.
In 1986, John accepted the invitation to become musical director of Old Silkstone Band. Success followed immediately with several prizes in his first year with the band. In 1987 he was appointed as Resident Conductor to Barnsley Building Society Band, a position that gave him the opportunity to work alongside professional conductors including Major Peter Parkes, Ray Farr, Richard Evans and Gary Cutts.
John has also conducted several other local brass bands including Stannington, Strata and Barnsley Concert band. He has played on several European tours and featured on many CD and radio recordings. John is also the founder, leader and trumpet player in the Take 2 Big Band and was a member of the 1970′s pop group ‘Sweet Charity’. He also plays guitar and keyboards.
He is employed as a lecturer at Barnsley College.