Chris Dean

leader of the


Syd Lawrence Orchestra

Born in Derbyshire in July 1950-the son of a preacher man ! (his Dad is a retired Vicar) and Mother was an operatic singer. As a child Chris showed remarkable interest in the trombone, and as he lived with his Mother is London she encouraged Chris by getting him tuition with Bill Teskey, who was then the principal trombone player in the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

He received further trombone training with the Army and played with a leading service mounted brass band.
Returning to civilian life Chris became the lead trombone player at the London Palladium. He played with the BBC Radio Orchestra and in the "pit" orchestra for the leading West End Musicals such as ‘Chorus Line’ and ‘West Side Story’.
In 1978 Chris was surprised to receive a phone call from the famous Syd Lawrence who offered Chris the lead trombone chair on a six-week engagement. Some five years later Chris decided to widen his experience and, much to Syd’s regret Chris left the orchestra to play freelance with all the top Musical Dfirectors. These included Nelson Riddle, Henry Mancini, Robert Farnon, Wally Statt, Angela Morley, Ronnie Aldrich, Michel Legrand, Quincy Jones and Ralph Burns.
The list of world famous artist with whom Chris has played is practically endless. To name a few: Tony Bennett, Johnny Matthis, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Shirley Bassey, Lena Horne, Dionne Warwick, Lisa Minelli, Andy Williams, Marti Caine, Bob Monkhouse and Nat King Cole.

He played for Ronnie Hazelhurst and Alyn Ainsworth in the backing orchestra at five Royal Variety performance.

The demand for Chris’s superb trombone playing led to his playing in orchestras for renowned TV shows such as "New Faces", "Opportunity Knocks", Surprise, Surprise", "Stars in their Eyes", "Blind Date", "The Les Dawson Show", " Morecambe & Wise; and " The Benny Hill Show".
He has appeared in videos with Eric Clapton and George Benson.
His film credits include: The James Bond Films, "View To a Kill", "Never say never again", John Barry’s "Out of Africa". " Star Wars", " Superman", "Batman", " Lost in Space", "Basic Instinct" , "Tombstone", "Bad Girls" and many more.
He has played in the classical orchestra-in the early seventies in the Covent Garden orchestra. Also with the London Symphony Orchestra; the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchesta; the English Chamber Orchestra; and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.
But he has also played with famous Pop artists- Wet, Wet ,Wet, Bonjovi, Queen, Harry Connick Junior to name a few.

Photo 2001

Chris was present with Lord Colwyn at the 40th. Wedding anniversary of HM the Queen.
He has also taken part at the "Pebble Mill at One"., "The Parkinson Show" and "Wogan".
Classical Artists for whom Chris has played include Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Pavarotti and Jessie Norman.
Each year Chris tales the orchestra into the studios to produce a new album and being a perfectionist like Syd Lawrence, he has maintained the standard set for him by Syd.
Chris is aware that it is essential to add new arrangements to the orchestra’s repertoire, but still playes a large number of Syd’s arrangements. Syd was undoubtedly the finest transcriber of music and so accurately took down music, not ny note, from old recordings to reproduce the music so perfectly. Bryan Pendleton has now taken over that mantle from Syd and has recreated the wonderful music of Glenn Miller’s Army Airforce Orchestra for the augmented orchestra to delight audiances. At this time, Bryan is still working on transcribing even more arrangements for the Concert Orchestra to widen the library to enable Chris with promotor Tony Wild to put together these wonderful Glenn Miller Army Airforce Orchestra concert recreations.

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