Howard has a well-established musical career as a pianist and teacher, as well as a conductor. He graduated with a Mus.B (Hons) degree from the University of Manchester. He also obtained LRAM, LTCL and ARCM (Hons) diplomas in piano teaching and performing, as well as brass teaching. As a postgraduate pianist of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, he obtained a Diploma in Performance Studies. His piano studies were undertaken with the British pianist Gordon Fergus-Thompson, and later with the distinguished Russian pianist and international teacher, Sulamita Aronovsky.
As a pianist and conductor he has performed extensively at a many major concert venues throughout the United Kingdom, including The Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Bridgewater Hall and at the Royal Albert Hall. He has also made regular visits overseas to Canada and the USA, as well as to European countries such as Holland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
For some time he has also been involved in the Salvation Army brass scene, becoming the National Bandmaster United Kingdom from 1988, and then in May 2000 he was appointed Director of Music in the Netherlands, and conductor of the Amsterdam Staff Band. During a period of nearly six years he undertook two major tours with them to the USA West in 2003, and to the United Kingdom in 2005. Since April 2001 he has also had the added distinction of conducting the Boscombe Band based in Bournemouth.
During the last few years he has also been in demand as a guest conductor for a number of bands at significant events, including directing a Celebrity Brass Band in the premiere recording of the brass version of Karl Jenkins ‘The Armed Man’; appearing with the Leyland Band at the RNCM Festival of Brass in 2008; directing the Grimethorpe Colliery Band for their appearance at the Deal Festival in the summer of 2008; and appearing again at the RNCM Festival of Brass 2010 with the famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band.
In 2005 Howard completed a Performance based Masters Degree with Distinction from Salford University, majoring in conducting. Since January 2007 he has also been working as a Lecturer at the University and was appointed to a Fellowship in October 2008, specialising in performance areas. July 2009 also saw his graduation for the award of ‘Doctor of Musical Arts’ (DMA) from Salford University. His doctoral studies included an important historical survey of the SA Meditational form as heard on the recording ‘Sanctuary’, as well some significant premieres of the work of Ray Steadman-Allen.
In addition to these many assignments he undertakes work as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and maintains a piano teaching practice.