Roger Nicholls has been a teacher of Modern Languages all his working life. His interest in music began with piano lessons, and while at grammar school he took up the organ, becoming an occasional relief organist at several churches in the Marlow (Bucks) area. At university he became interested in folk dancing and started playing the piano accordion. Since 1966 he has led a folk dance band called “The Orange & Blue”, and he has been a dancer and musician with the Bedford Morris Men.
He took up brass playing while teaching at Pilgrim School, Bedford, when a very elderly E flat bass became available. His son Andrew joined the Bedford Town Band, and Roger was encouraged to “come and have a blow” – he has stayed with them ever since. When the Training (i.e. 2nd) Band suddenly needed a conductor, he was “volunteered” on the strength of his being a teacher (and possessing a loud voice). Having arranged folk tunes into short overtures for the local Hitchin Gathering it was only a short step to writing arrangements for the Training Band. His colleagues in the Bedford Town Band, however, still think of him as an accordionist.