Darrol Barry was born in Salford in 1956. When he was fourteen he auditioned for the school band on cornet but ended up taking an E♭ bass home, much to the joy of his mother, father and neighbours! Darrol joined the local brass band (Windsor) and soon moved on to baritone and then on to euphonium. At school his music teacher, Mr Foulkes, did some arranging for the band which Darrol found fascinating. The conductor of Windsor Band, Jack Clayton, introduced him to the mysteries of brass band transposition. Darrol soon discovered he had a flair for arranging and also started some small compositions. His favourite Composer was Eric Ball but he was soon captivated by the music of Gilbert Vinter and Edward Gregson. On leaving school Darrol became an apprentice joiner but continued arranging and composing while teaching himself harmony and counterpoint.
In 1978 Darrol enrolled on the band musicianship course at Salford under Roy Newsome, Goff Richards, David Loukes and Geoff Whitham who all helped him greatly. In fact, it was through Roy Newsome that Darrol went on to study with Joseph Horovitz at the Royal College of Music in London. Darrol went on to become a freelance composer and arranger working for several publishers and lectured in composing and arranging at Salford University, Barnsley and Accrington and Rossendale Colleges. Darrol conducted and adjudicated throughout the United Kingdom and Europe at all levels.
Before his untimely death in 2018 at the age of 62, Darrol lived and worked in Oman with his wife, Rachael, employed by the Royal Guard of Oman as Resident Composer and Arranger, a job which involved him writing and arranging music for all occasions and different combinations including bands, pipes and bands, fanfare teams and big band. Darrol also composed several substantial pieces for symphony orchestra including two symphonies.
However, Darrol still found time to compose and arrange for brass and wind bands and completed a series of Concerti, three of which have been recorded by the Foden’s Richardson Band on the CD Sunburst – The Music of Darrol Barry. Darrol also completed several substantial wind band works which have been recorded by the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra.
Darrol is remembered with great fondness by all in the world of brass bands, and especially by his team of colleagues here at Wright and Round.