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Ronald Hanmer

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Ronald Hanmer


Ronald Hanmer (2 February 1917, Reigate, England – 23 May 1994, Brisbane, Aus.) was a British conductor, composer and arranger.

He studied at the Blackheath Conservatory of Music. From 1935-1948, he was organist at the Granada Theater. During the 1950s and 1960s he directed his own Latin-American percussion ensemble called "The Marimberos" on BBC radio and was, for a while, conductor of the Sydney Thompson Old-Time Orchestra for the programme Take Your Partners.

He was best known for his themes to the Adventures of P.C. 49 and Blue Hills, and is also noted for his large oeuvre of light orchestral and brass band compositions, as well as his arrangements of popular stage musicals.

Hanmer's original works included pieces such as Bouquet de Paris, Capstan and Windlass and Memories of Hungary. In Britain he is remembered for his Changing Moods, which was used as the theme for the radio serial Adventures of P.C. 49.

After emigrating to Australia in 1975, he was surprised to discover that his short composition Pastorale introduced the famous long-running radio serial Blue Hills.

His works for wind ensembles included clarinet quartets and trios, flute trios, Cuckoo Quartet for two flutes and two clarinets, Two Contrasts for oboe and piano, trumpet trios, and a Serenade for Seven.

He also gained considerable fame in the brass band world, where his works are renowned as test pieces. For brass band, Hanmer wrote pieces such as Latin Americana, Brass Spectacular, and Over Hill Over Dale. For smaller brass ensembles his work includes Praeludium and Allegro for trombone and Cavatina and Allegro for E flat horn.

His arrangements of musicals include Calamity Jane, Blossom Time, The Merry Widow, Viva Mexico!, Die Fledermaus, The Chocolate Soldier and La Périchole and his orchestrations of shows for amateur companies remain in demand world-wide.

Works for Winds