Major Graham Lloyd enlisted into the Australian Regular Army in 1972 as an Apprentice Musician studying the clarinet. Upon graduation he received the Boosey and Hawkes prize for instrumental proficiency, and was posted to the 4th Military District Band in Adelaide, South Australia.
In 1976 he was detached to the Army School of Music, Balcombe, Victoria, as a clarinet and theory instructor. The same year, he was posted to the Band of the First Recruit Training Battalion at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, followed in 1977 by a further posting to the Army School of Music as an instructor where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and later Staff Sergeant.
In 1982, he began his Student Bandmaster Course at the Royal Military School of Music Kneller Hall, Twickenham, London. Among the prizes he received on completion of the course were: the Besson Cup and Medal for gaining the highest marks in the Ministry of Defence Examinations; the Somerville Prize for best concert band arrangement; and the coveted Worshipful Company of Musicians Trophy and Silver Medal for the best overall student of the course. He returned to Australia late in 1985 and was promoted to Lieutenant and appointed as the Second in Command/Deputy Music Director of the Band of the 5th Military District, Perth, Western Australia.
In September 1987, he was posted to the now Defence Force School of Music in Macleod, Victoria, and was subsequently promoted to Captain. In this position he was responsible for the training and instruction of all Army and Navy musician enlistees. Additional duties included the teaching of advanced arranging techniques and harmony to the various promotion courses; in particular, the Band Officers Course.
In 1989, Graham was posted as the Second in Command/Deputy Music Director of the 3rd Military District Band in Melbourne, Victoria. Later that same year he accepted the position of Director of Music Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Commanding Officer of the then RAAF Central Band and soon after was promoted to Squadron Leader. In 1997, he was appointed as the Commanding Officer of the Air Force Band following a restructure of bands in the RAAF, which saw the RAAF Central Band and RAAF Air Command Band administratively combine. Following a further restructure in 2000, which saw a reversion back to separate bands, he was posted to RAAF Training Command, Laverton, in charge of Air Force music policy and the future direction of Air Force bands.
In Feb 2004, Graham accepted the position of Officer Commanding/Chief Instructor at the Defence Force School of Music and subsequently transferred back to the Army.
Graham’s main interests are conducting, composing, arranging and teaching. His Concert Band work, Prelude for a Festival, won the 1988 Yamaha Composer of the Year award. Additionally, he has arranged and composed over 300 works for Concert Bands, Brass Bands and orchestras; a number of which are published in Australia (including his Brass Band test pieces: The Loaded Dog; and Through a Soldier’s Eyes). He completed his Masters in music composition at Melbourne University in 1999 studying with Professor Brenton Broadstock. As a conductor, major highlights for him include: Guest Conductor of the 70 piece United States Air Force Band in Washington D.C. in 1993; and conductor of the Federation Bells and Brass Concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne in Nov, 2001. The Bells and Brass concert featured over 500 performers including the four top A-Grade Brass Bands in Victoria and was the final concert for the Melbourne International Music Festival and Victorian Federation Year celebrations.
Graham is regularly called upon to adjudicate state and National community band festivals, eisteddfods, solo and small group contests and to lecture on various music subjects including arranging, composition and conducting.