James H. Howe (b. 11 November 1917, Penshaw, England, now deceased) is a British composer and conductor.
Howe began playing piano and cornet at age nine, and in 1933 he became a band boy with the Royal Scots Regimental Band. In his service during World War II, he was captured by the enemy and organized a dance band to entertain his fellow prisoners.
Howe’s formal musical training, which began after the war, included study at the Royal Military School of Music [Kneller Hall], the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music. During his career, he was bandmaster of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Scots Guards. From 1970-1974, Howe was Senior Director of Music of the Household Division, and from 1959-1974 he was Director of Music of the Scots Guards in London. While bandmaster of the Scots Guards, he became a champion of the marches of John Philip Sousa and introduced many of the unfamiliar marches to his British audiences through phonograph records.
Since his retirement in 1974, he has served as a brass band adjudicator, guest conductor, and concert promoter. His most popular work is Pentland Hills. Many of his works were composed for the British-style brass band.
Works for Winds
- Glasgow Fair (1986)
- Pentland Hills (1965)
- Pride of Princess Street
- Stirling Castle (1997)
- Traffic Tangle
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "James H. Howe." Accessed 13 April 2016.
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 302.