Salvation Story

Notes of Faith

“There’s nothing better than when someone says, ‘I was really blessed by that.’ That just makes it all worthwhile.”
Andrew Wainwright

Andrew Wainwright is an award-winning and accomplished composer, journalist, graphic designer and lifelong Salvationist. His work has been written for, performed and recorded by some of the most prestigious brass bands, orchestras and choirs around the world, both in and outside of The Salvation Army, such as Black Dyke, Cory, The International Staff Band, Elgin Symphony, St. Charles Singers, New York Philharmonic Brass and many more.

Raised by Salvation Army officer parents, Andrew was born in England near the town of Hastings. When he was just two years old, his parents were moved to the territorial headquarters in Kenya. The Wainwrights lived there in a compound with other international Army families for four years before they were moved to Zimbabwe. Having spent many formative years in Africa, Andrew holds that culture close in his heart. 

One of the many ways Andrew was influenced by his missionary upbringing was in Salvation Army brass banding, which is hugely popular in many African countries. At home, Andrew would listen to recordings of the International Staff Band and the Canadian Staff Band. Outside, he’d watch thousands march in the streets behind a Salvation Army band. Andrew says that those inspirational moments are some of his earliest memories. 

It was inevitable that Andrew would pick up a horn himself. When he was about 10 years old, his corps in Zimbabwe only had a senior band. The building up of young musicians can be a powerful ministry, so one corps member took it upon himself to teach Andrew and 20 other children. In just one year, Andrew was playing cornet in a new young people’s band that performed on Sunday mornings. 

Andrew remembers his first “composition,” which he wrote around the same age. When the Wainwrights were on vacation and young Andrew got a little antsy, his father suggested that he write some notes out to calm down. He scribbled some notes on a staff, and it began to change the way he appreciated music. “I guess that was my first sort of venture into composing,” Andrew said. “I just had this fascination with what music looked like on a page and it stemmed from there.”

At age 11, Andrew moved with his family back to England, which he describes as quite a culture shock. Everything was foreign and unfamiliar to him except for The Salvation Army. Andrew says that going to the Bromley Temple corps made him feel at home despite his radically different surroundings. After finishing high school, Andrew decided to study graphic design at university. During this time, he also switched from cornet to euphonium/baritone, which has remained his preference since.

Following completion of two years of a graphic arts degree, he decided to change majors to his other passion: music. He had been composing in his free time and came to the realization that there could be a future for him in music. 

Andrew had his first piece published by The Salvation Army, “Hendon,” an arrangement of a hymn tune of the same name, when he was 21. “When you’re an aspiring young composer, to have a piece published where it can get played anywhere in the world is special,” Andrew said. “That was a memorable moment.” 

He went on to study music at Middlesex University at the suggestion of the Hendon corps bandmaster, Stephen Cobb. “It covered most aspects of music,” Andrew said of his education at Middlesex. “History, composing, performance. I went on to specialize in composition for the last year.” Between his time studying graphic design and his time at Middlesex, Andrew had been at university for six years. “I needed to start working,” he said.

In 2001, he’d spent a summer as a counselor and music teacher at the Army’s Camp Hoblitzelle in Texas, where he was able to observe the music department in action, which instilled a desire in him to one day become a Divisional Music Director (DMD) himself. In 2013, Andrew was offered a position as a Deputy DMD in the Central Territory. Not too long after taking that position, Andrew met his wife, Laura. They stayed in the Central Territory for two years before marrying in 2015 and deciding to quit their jobs to see where the Lord would take them. Ever the faithful Salvationists, Andrew and Laura started their honeymoon at the Boundless International Congress in the summer of 2015. After that, they spent an extended time in Africa so Andrew could share his African experience with Laura. 

Eventually, the Wainwrights decided that the Lord was leading them to Dallas, where they still live. Andrew was given the opportunity to be a DMD in that division while Laura  continued working in insurance. After three years of ministry, Andrew was contacted by “British Bandsman,” the world’s oldest music periodical started in 1887, and was asked to be the editor. Despite living in Texas, Andrew happily took the position. He enjoyed that job and the travel that came with it for about a year before deciding to go freelance. During this time, his skills, passions and interests in music, graphic design and journalism all aligned. 

As the world experienced the Covid pandemic Andrew realized that very little new music was being written, and virtually none being performed. “A lot of composers just didn’t have a name because they didn’t have any groups to write for because nothing was happening.” For composers like Andrew, it was a maddening dry spell. So, he decided to do something about it. “I figured, why don’t we do kind of a virtual composer contest?”

He started a virtual brass band composer competition and received many good pieces. But he knew he could do more with this new library, as well as his own new and existing compositions. So, he launched BrookWright Music, a new publishing company. As of the beginning of this year, BrookWright has published more than 400 pieces from many composers. The competition has also become an annual event. 

With all the success Andrew has found in the musical world, he still focuses on using his talents as a ministry for the Lord. “Every time I play my instrument or write a piece of music, it’s a ministry and it’s inspired by God,” Andrew said. “I feel closest to God when I’m making music … It’s just a very spiritual experience.” 

Andrew says that he is blessed to hear his music performed and hopes that it blesses others who hear it. “There’s nothing better than when someone says, ‘I was really blessed by that.’ That just makes it all worthwhile.” Now, Andrew continues to compose new pieces, design graphics, and manage BrookWright Music, while also serving as the editor of “Brass Band Bridge” magazine. For more information about Andrew’s work, visit

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