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Russell Gray Appointed as New Musical Director for NYBBS

Published in Band News on 2013-12-02 by Empty Chairs

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The Scottish Brass Band Association is pleased to announce that Russell Gray has been appointed as the new Musical Director of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

Russell has already had a long association with NYBBS, having joined as a member in 1982, after which he became the band’s Principal Cornet for 9 years. He has since attended as part of the tutor team and this year, at the invitation of Richard Evans, Russell participated in the 2013 NYBBS Summer Courses as Guest Conductor. Working with all three bands during the week he then conducted select items at the closing concert in Perth Concert Hall, including a joint performance of Elgar Howarth’s ‘Zurich March’ with the National Children’s Brass Band of Scotland and the National Youth Reserve Brass Band of Scotland, and the demanding Peter Meechan work ‘The Legend of King Arthur’ with the NYBBS senior band.

Russell has a long-standing and distinguished career as a cornet soloist which commenced from an early age - by the time he was twelve years old he had already won the junior solo Championships of both Scotland and Great Britain, and whilst at university he was invited to join the world famous Black Dyke Mills Brass Band. He is now one of the most sought after brass soloists and clinicians in the world.

Russell also enjoys an international reputation as a conductor of a variety of ensembles, including Stavanger Brass Band, The Fairey Band, Her Majesty’s Band of the Coldstream Guards, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Pops Orchestra, and the Mueller International Chamber Orchestra. Soon after his graduation from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2007 with distinction for his Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting, Russell was also appointed as Principal Conductor of the Cambrian Orchestra at St Giles.

His extensive work with youth organisations is also widely recognized, including positions held with the National Youth Band of Switzerland and The Queensland Youth Band, and earlier this year he was appointed as the Musical Director of the 2014 European Youth Brass Band, which brings together some of the finest young brass and percussion players from all across Europe (as part of the European Brass Band Championships series of events being hosted in Perth, Scotland next year).

Responding to his appointment, Russell Gray told Empty Chairs, “I am honoured and delighted to accept this position. I have had a long relationship with the NYBBS organisation as principal cornet of the band for 9 years, as guest soloist, cornet tutor and guest conductor.  I look forward to my time as Musical Director and am honoured to follow on from Richard, who has been an inspiration not just to me but so many others.”

George Burt, President of SBBA added: “We are very proud to welcome Russell Gray as Musical Director to The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and, as was clearly demonstrated during the 2013 NYBBS courses, his involvement with the organization will enable the members to greatly benefit from his wide musical experience as both a conductor and player.”

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