Martin Wills was born in Ilton and started to learn the cornet at 15; he joined the Army as a Junior Bandsman in the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry seeing service in many countries. Martin also studied the bassoon at the famous Royal Military School of Music (Kneller Hall) under Ronald Wailer. After 8 years with the 2nd Battalion Light Infantry, Martin returned to the Light Infantry Depot as an Instructor of Woodwind and Brass instruments and in 1980 returned to Kneller Hall to complete the Bandmasters Course which included learning how to play all the instruments of the military band. This expertise was and is now well used – in addition to being Musical Director of Taunton Concert Band, Martin was employed as a Full Time Tutor with the Somerset Music Service and is Co-Manager of the Somerset County Youth Orchestra.
Robin Bush Chairman of Somerset County Council presented the chairman’s Golden Jubilee Award, to Martin in 2002 for his outstanding contribution to the County of Somerset. The award was for personal dedication and hard work as Musical Director of Taunton Concert Band. In 2013 Martin was awarded two further awards for his services to music. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Certificate presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and the Special Services to the Rifles Regiment award, presented by the His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh