He was brought up in a musical household, his maternal grandparents playing Viola and Piano.
In his early life in the 1940s John was sent as a border to Queen Elizabeth’s School in Crediton where his musical talents were nurtured.
During his school years he joined the school Army Cadet Force where he achieved the rank of Company Sergeant.
It was during this time that he learnt to play the bugle and was called upon to play the "Last Post" at several events.
As John was allergic to dust on the family farm he joined the Gas Board in a junior capacity, working his way up to a senior position. During that time he studied for his HNC and diploma in Engineering.
At this time there was a call within Industry for a career change into the Teaching Profession. Having achieved Higher Diploma in Engineering, he went to St Luke’s Training College on a one-year full-time teacher training course.
After training he went to Okehampton Grammar School where he taught Maths for a year before moving on to Broadclyst Secondary School.
It was there, as well as teaching maths and science, that he started the School Wind band. John attended a Diploma Course at Dartington College, his tutor being Imogen Holst, a relative of the famous composer Gustav.
After a period of time John moved to teach at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Crediton, where he taught various subjects which included Music. Eventually he became Head of Music at the Lower School.
After he retired from full-time teaching John became a self-employed peripatetic music teacher at several local schools.
Concerning his musical interests, ever since he left school, John has played either trumpet, clarinet or saxophone.
Whilst at Teacher Training he played with the Collegians Dance Band.
In 1954 he formed his own band “The Stars", which he changed to Johnny Glanfield and the Stars a year or so later.
For many years throughout Devon, playing mostly Trad Jazz, people danced to John’s Band, always playing to sell out audiences.
During the 60’s, John’s Band played as a support act to such legends as Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and Chris Barber when they came to play at dances in the Westcountry.
After 16 years of playing together “The Stars", was disbanded.
In 2004 John formed a new band called "Strictly Ballroom" which went on to entertain at numerous events in Devon.
During his life John has performed with several musical companies as early as 1953 when he played at a production of "Tom Jones" in Exmouth and, later that year, in a production of "The Mikado" in Exeter.
The next year he performed in "Rebel Maid", a production by the Exeter Amateur Operatic Company.
It continued with John having played in a total of 118 shows and conducted a further 28 over the years.
Of all the shows that John has been involved with his favourite was "Guys and Dolls" which, in 1972, was the first musical put on by the Northcott’s own company and which ran for five weeks.
John has played with the Southern Railway Band, Exeter Music Group and also played in and conducted a number of shows in Tiverton, Exmouth, Teignmouth, Exeter Operatic Society, CODS and Exeter Musical Society where John and fellow musicians put on some very good musical productions at the Northcott Theatre.
John also conducted a number of professional shows for the Northcott.
For a great number of years John has been a member of the Crediton Town Band.
For a period he served as the Town Band’s Musical Director but in recent times he is happy as a playing member of the band.
John has played a number of instruments with the band and he is currently playing Solo Tenor Horn.
John has arranged a number of pieces for the band over the years, his latest being an arrangement of Ted Heath’s "Hot Toddy".
In 1958 John married Viv and they have three children and seven grandchildren, most of whom are musical.
A very keen fly fisherman, one of his favourite places to visit is Rutland Water in the Midlands.
He makes pretty well all of his fishing flies which are very intricate to construct. John also spends a lot of time in his garden growing his own produce. If he has any spare time left, he is an avid crossword puzzler.
I am sure that those who have known John over the years either as a School Teacher, as a Musician or just as a Friend, will join me in wishing John a very Happy 90th Birthday.