John Cox


  • Born in Galway, Ireland. Lived in the Claddagh area of Galway in early years.
  • Attended St. Patrick’s National School, Galway 1954 – 1960.
  • Attended St. Joseph’s College, “The Bish” 1060 – 1964. Junior and Senior Rugby Captain. Won Connacht Colleges Junior Schools Cup, 1963.
  • Deck Officer Cadet, Irish Shipping Ltd, 1964 – 1968. Studied Marine Science through Plymouth College of Technology School of Navigation.
  • Third Officer, Irish Shipping Ltd, 1967 – 1968.
  • Circumnavigated world on voyage in 1965.
  • Office Manager, London, Ryan’s Car Hire Hotels\Holidays, 1969 – 1972
  • Group Travel Executive, Bord Failte – Irish Tourist Board, Dublin, 1972 – 1980. Responsible for Development and Marketing of Group Travel programs including the St. Patrick’s Week Festival and other performing group programs.

Developed the band traffic market from North America, USA in particular. Organized band competition structures, etc, under the advice and direction of Dr. William Revelli, University of Michigan.

  • As part of development work on attracting bands from Northern Ireland, John Cox was co-founder in 1976 with Bill Caughey from Belfast of the “Friendship Band” a non denominational Brass band based on the American Honor band system and specifically modeled on “Die Kikvorschen” band from Den Bosch in Holland.

The Friendship Band attends many events and parades both in Ireland and internationally and is extremely popular with all that experience its wonderful performances.

  • East Coast Promotions Executive, Irish Tourist Board – New York, 1980 – 1984.
  • BMIT Tours – Sales Manager based in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta. 1984 – 1989.
  • Founded Atlantic Group Tours in 1989 to offer custom group travel programs to US clients. We have handled over 200 performing groups on a variety of tours throughout Europe including Marching, Concert and Choral groups.
  • Was invited in 2004 to become Associate member of American Bandmasters Association, the first travel company to receive this honor.