John Hargreaves is a freelance conductor, music director and percussionist based in London. He read Music at York University with further studies at University of London (Goldsmith’s), London College of Music and Kneller Hall. John has a Master's degree in Conducting and Orchestration, and also studied conducting with Professor Rob Wiffin, Denise Ham, and George Hurst on the Sherborne Conducting course. John has a wide repertoire, covering wind band, orchestral, choral, opera and musical theatre.
As well as conducting the Lewisham Concert Band, John is a regular musical director for West Wickham Operatic Society, with whom he has conducted 19 productions at the Churchill Theatre. Other conducting engagements include Crystal Palace Brass Band, XBY Concert Band, Southwark Concert Band, Big Swing Big Band, and other musical theatre companies. John has conducted the National Festival Orchestra on a number of occasions, at the Buxton Opera House, and The Royal Hall Harrogate for the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. He was awarded The Arthur Sullivan Cup for Best Musical Director in 2014, and runner up prize in 2012.
John studied percussion on a scholarship with Graham Johns (RLPO), and still plays regularly. As a percussionist he performs with XBY Concert Band in National and International competitions, including the World Music Contest (2001, 2005, 2013). He also plays with Crystal Palace Brass Band, Heroes Band, LG Symphonic Winds, Friends of Kneller Hall Band. Previous engagements have included Oxford University Chamber Orchestra and Nigel Kennedy. As a jazz/big band/rock drummer, John has led bands at 100 club, Brecon Jazz festival, Festival Hall, Fairfield Halls, Guilfest, and the London gig circuit. He is co-leader of Dulwich People, a co-founder of King Groovy and the Horn Stars, and a regular dep with Young Scientists, and Trans Siberian March Band with whom he played Wilderness and Boomtown Festivals in 2015.
John occasionally composes and orchestrates music. He has yet to publish his opera Il Travesti – performed in 1996 and recorded in 2003. This remains on his 80% shelf, along with an unfinished musical, various ideas for making a fortune, and a book on why you should never become a teacher.
John is Director of Music at Woldingham School where he conducts the award winning chamber choir and chamber orchestra, including services at Westminster Cathedral and various venues in Europe.