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Ray Steadman-Allen

Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.) Ray Steadman-Allen
Personal details
Born (1922-09-18)18 September 1922
Died 15 December 2014(2014-12-15) (aged 92)

Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) Ray Steadman-Allen (18 September 1922 – 15 December 2014) was a British composer of choral and brass band music for the Salvation Army and for band competition.[1]

He was born in the Salvation Army 'Mother's Hospital', Clapton, while his Salvation Army Officer parents were living in the Horfield area of Bristol. When they were appointed to London in 1937, he obtained a job at International Headquarters as office boy to General Evangeline Booth, daughter of The Salvation Army's founder.

In 1942 he enlisted in the Royal Navy. He was examined for a music diploma by Sir Granville Bantock who invited him to apply for a job in music after the war. In the event, Bantock died, and Ray Steadman-Allen joined the Music Editorial Department of The Salvation Army. Following a short post-war period as a trombonist with The International Staff Band, he developed his conducting skills and became Bandmaster of the Tottenham Citadel Band.

He became a Salvation Army officer himself in 1949, from the Harrow Corps., and in 1951 he married Joyce Foster, who had become a Salvation Army officer from the Hastings Citadel in 1949.

Much of his music was ahead of its time, to the point that it was sometimes considered unacceptable to the listener. Lord of the Sea created a furore. His creativity has been given totally to God and has been instrumental in guiding Salvation Army music into uncharted territory, particularly when the International Music Editorial Department was under his leadership between 1967 and 1980.

Ray Steadman-Allen regularly took part as Bandmaster in the popular radio programme Sounding Brass which was presented by Gloria Hunniford and Owen Spencer-Thomas on Radio 2 and Radio London in the 1970s. He wrote a book called Colour and Texture in the Brass Band Score which was published by The Salvation Army. First published in 1980, this volume has been reprinted due to continued demand from composers, arrangers and university music departments alike.

Besides well over 200 brass band works published by The Salvation Army, Ray Steadman-Allen has written numerous choral works with a large number of compositions and arrangements in manuscript form, often completed for recordings or special concert presentations.

As well as completing his Doctorate in Music, Ray Steadman-Allen holds several honorary fellowships, is the President of the National College of Music, Vice President of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors and patron of the London Musicological Research Society.

Ray has also been a tremendous encourager of new compositional talent. Many leading Brass Band composers will give testimony to his positive help and professional guidance.

In recent years, Ray Steadman-Allen has become affectionately known as 'RSA'.

In 2003, the Royal School of Church Music awarded him its ARSCM (Associate of the RSCM). In 2005, The Salvation Army admitted 'RSA' to The Order of the Founder, the highest honour that The Salvation Army can bestow on a member.[2]

In 2012, a suite of articles about his life and works was published by Shield Books under the title of 'History, Harmony and Humanity'.

Ray Steadman-Allen died on 15 December 2014 at the age of 92.[3][4]


  1. ^ Newsome, Roy (2006). The modern brass band: from the 1930s to the new millennium.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Death of Lt. Col. Ray Steadman-Allen". 16 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ray Steadman-Allen - obituary". The Telegraph. 2 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 

External links

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