b. Thomas Mossie McQuater, 4 September 1914, Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland, d. 20 January 2008, Scotland. A self-taught trumpeter, he gained wide professional experience in the mid-30s playing in many leading British dance bands. These included Jack Payne, Lew Stone and Ambrose. During World War II McQuater was in the Royal Air Force’s noted dance band, the Squadronaires. In the late 40s and for the next four decades, he worked extensively in theatre, radio and television bands. A highly accomplished lead trumpeter, McQuater’s solo work in a jazz context was fiery and exhilarating and he played and recorded with many notable leaders including George Chisholm, John Dankworth and visiting Americans such as Benny Carter in the 30s and Benny Goodman in the 60s. In later years he worked with fellow trumpeter Johnny McLevy at local clubs. In 1995 he was still enjoying life and helping fellow octogenarian Chisholm celebrate his birthday.
McQuater’s enthusiasm and skills as a teacher brought him the respect of many younger musicians and his pupils included distinguished trumpeters such as Ian Carr and Digby Fairweather.