Desmond Graham - President

Des Graham Des Graham was appointed Director of Music of the Third Carrickfergus Band in February 1986 and took the band to instant success by winning the Belfast Music Festival Open Brass Band Class in March 1986.

Prior to that he played in the front row and was Soprano Cornet for the band for 10 years. He has also played Solo D Trumpet at various venues throughout the province, and in the early sixties was Principal Trumpet of the Studio Symphony Orchestra in Belfast.

Des studied conducting under Dr Windsor Hylands and Major Peter Parkes, and arranging and composition with Philip Wilby.

After retiring from full-time work for the first time, Des took what was a hobby and turned it into the successful music instrument repair business, Peter Gray Instruments. He has fixed instruments for all the local schools and bands as well as the brass section of the Ulster Orchestra.

Throughout the years Des continued playing trumpet and cornet, still playing in Festival Brass and featuring in many Messiahs around Christmas time. He is also a former Musical Director of the internationally famous Friendship Band and has conducted in various venues in Ireland, America and Europe.

Des led the band on stage at the 2005 European Championships in Groningen - one of his proudest moments. “Being there rubbing shoulders with all the greats” – Roy Newsome, Nick Childs and composers Rodney Newton and Peter Graham to name but a few. To this day he is still working as hard as ever to produce perfection on stage. This has produced positive results, culminating in the band being crowned Band of the Year for 2008. In February 2021 Des was appointed President of the Band.