Welcome to the trombone world of Paul Coker
Paul has been playing the trombone now for nearly half a century! Starting first at school and then under the professorship of Mr. Bob Patterson at the Newham Academy of Music in East London.
In 1974 Paul Joined the Royal Marines Band Service, it was soon recognised that he was "solo" material and he was coached and mentored by Professor Jack Dacombe, a trombonist of the Syd Lawrence era and Principal Trombone in the BBC Variety Orchestra. He was also a former Royal Marine Musician himself.
Paul qualified from the school after three years intensive musical training, having won the trombone prize (1974) and the trombone cup (1975). In 1976 he joined the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Commando Forces, one of the largest staff bands at the time, as the principal and solo trombone.
After serving in the Falklands War, Northern Ireland and various other active service regions, Paul was "offered" a draft to the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Band Commander in Chief Fleet, newly based in Northolt, Middlesex, again as the principal and solo trombone and ideal for the "London scene."
He exploited his posting to Northolt under Captain Ted Whealing, by playing in many West End theatres and other prestigious venues as a freelance instrumentalist and played with West End pit orchestras, big bands, various orchestras and ensembles etc. He also played with his own professional quartet "Quadrant".
Ironically, Paul was the principal and solo trombone with the Central Band of The Royal British Legion until 2012, unfortunately he moved a little too far away to carry on attending. Captain Ted Whealing was the Director of Music and Captain David Cole is now. Both Directors of Music that Paul had served with in the Royal Marines Band Service. Paul also played under both Captain Ted Whealing and Captain David Cole in the Royal Marines Association Concert Band until recently, where he was the principal and solo trombone for some years.
Paul was also the principal and solo trombone in the Hampshire Constabulary Concert Band, which is under the musical leadership of their Director of Music, Major Pete Curtis MBE.,B.Mus(Hons).,PGDip.,LRSM.,AMusTCL.,RM a current serving Director of Music in the Royal Marines Band Service. Sadly, Paul's relocation has meant leaving this fabulous and inspirational band.
Spinal injury saw Paul's departure from the Royal Marines Band Service and a considerable lay off from playing, however, in due course he was "back on the tools" and took positions as solo and principal trombone with the Ministry of Defence Police Band, The Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra, The Derby Concert Orchestra and The British Police Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few and he was retained as the principal and solo trombone for the famous NSK Ransome Band, who came second in the National Brass Band Championships to the Cory Band in 2000, with Paul leading the trombone section. He has also played with the London Mozart Players, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and many other London and major orchestras and ensembles both in the United Kingdom and worldwide.
Now living happily and "in harmony"with his wife Elaine, (who is also an accomplished musician and plays the oboe, cor-anglais and piano), Paul plays both professionally and semi-professionally and enjoys performing as much, if not more, than years ago!
In 1996 Paul was awarded the "Freedom of the City of London" an honour bestowed on him by the Lord Mayor's Office.
Below are some YouTube links to Paul playing on commercially available CD's of which there are many more..........