Andrew Stokes is an experienced instrumentalist and conductor having worked professionally in the music industry for 30 years. His career began as a drummer and percussionist with the Royal Australian Navy Band where he gained much experience across a variety of music genres including jazz, rock, and wind band.
Since becoming a conductor in 2004, Andrew has had appointments as Music Director of the Navy Bands in Sydney and Melbourne, and was selected to lead the Navy Band on the shores of Gallipoli, on the battlefields of France, and entertaining the troops in the Middle East. Andrew also spent four months in the United Kingdom as a guest conductor with the Royal Marines Band Service. In recent years, Andrew has had the pleasure of hosting the St Olaf Band (Minnesota) and the Yale Concert Band (Connecticut) in Melbourne, performing with both ensembles in concert. He is currently working at the Defence Force School of Music where he is responsible for the training of the Australian Defence Force’s future Music Directors.
During his time as a Music Director, Andrew has found much reward in conducting workshops with School and Community Bands, particularly through inspiring musicians of all ages and skill levels to create quality music. This passion for helping to nurture and inspire the future of Australian music has led to invitations to adjudicate eisteddfods and band festivals across Australia.