Jerry Lanning was born in Dorset and studied at Southampton University and the Guildhall School of Music in London, principally with Patric Standford, Peter Wishart and Geraldine Peppin. On leaving the Guildhall he was awarded a City of London scholarship to the Mermaid Theatre under Bernard Miles, where he was involved in musicals such as 'Dick Turpin', 'Treasure Island', 'Cowardy Custard' and 'Cole'. He spent about ten years in the theatre as an arranger and musical director, working on a dozen or more musicals including the West End productions of 'Kismet' and 'Bar Mitzvah Boy', and during this period he also furthered his conducting studies with George Hurst and Lawrence Leonard.
In 1975 he started a publishing company called Middle Eight Music. This company provided music services to theatres and recording studios. It also published educational music, in particular the MUSIC KIT series (see link below) which catered for mixed ability/variable instrumentation school ensembles. Music Kit was the first really flexible system and has been much imitated over the years. He subsequently sold Middle Eight Music and worked as a consultant to Cramer Music and University College Cardiff Press. Later he was the first Managing Editor of the Music Sales Group in London, a company which has access to an enormous pop catalogue and also includes such well-known classical publishers as Chester, Novello, Schirmer, UME and Lengnick.
He began arranging while still at school, and has written for almost all instrumental combinations from voice and harp to symphony orchestra, and for artists as diverse as Billy Connolly and Pavarotti. This has given him an extensive knowledge of all instruments, and his scores have been performed by many of the London orchestras. He has several hundred publications in print, eg the Middle Eight MUSIC KIT series, the CLASSIC EXPERIENCE series for Cramer (see link) and the MAKING THE GRADE series for Chester, and has contributed to hundreds more. All the titles in the former series (about 30) are currently being reissued with accompanying cds, and several feature in the exam syllabi of the Associated Board and Trinity. His commercial work has been extremely varied. He has conducted in many of London's leading studios, such as Abbey Road 1 (where Elgar conducted the first recording), Abbey Road 2 (the Beatles' studio), CTS, Audio International, Maida Vale Studios and the Golders Green Hippodrome, and for several years he arranged for and conducted the late lamented BBC Radio Orchestra. He also arranged and recorded for the world-famous Readers' Digest compilations and for the MOR 'easy listening' company Starborne Productions in the USA. Additionally he composed the music for several of the late Sir Anthony Quayle's Compass Theatre productions.
He is a pianist, and in the past also played the oboe and French horn. He has taught part-time at Maidenhead College For Girls, Wycombe Abbey School and Bradfield College, and is a busy freelance conductor and arranger. He has been guest conductor with, among others, the Wealden Sinfonia, London Repertoire Orchestra, Blackfriars Sinfonia, North Downs Sinfonia, Sutton Symphony Orchestra, Trinity Camerata, West Midlands Light Orchestra and with the Maidenhead, Beenham and Bisham Concert Bands. He currently conducts the Saturday Morning Orchestra in Reading, and regularly directs wind chamber workshops throughout the UK. For several years he conducted the wind band at the Charterhouse Summer School of Music (now the CSSM at Sherborne), where he now runs the Arranging and Wind Chamber Music courses.
He abhors the present educational system in the UK and its continual lowering of standards, the obsession with examinations and tests, and the almost complete elimination of the one essential motivational ingredient for education - curiosity!
|The Saturday Morning Orchestra, Reading UK||Friendly rehearsal orchestra|
|Tony Halstead’s Horn Sales||Best place to buy or sell|
|Trinity Camerata, Bicester UK||Superb amateur orchestra|
|MUSIC KIT Series||Flexible mixed ability classroom arrangements|
|CLASSIC EXPERIENCE Series||Arrangements for solo instrument and piano|