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The Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA), in conjunction with The European Brass Band Association (EBBA) are delighted to announce the appointment of Russell Gray as the Musical Director of the 2014 European Youth Brass Band which will come together from 26th April - 3rd May 2014 as an integral part of the 2014 European Festival of Brass being hosted in Scotland.
SBBA commented: "We are absolutely delighted that Russell has accepted this appointment. His wide and varied experience as both a conductor and player will present a valuable dimension to the young members of the 2014 European Youth Brass Band. The band is such a critical part of the overall festival and we are pleased that its busy schedule of rehearsals and performances will be so admirably led by such a seasoned musician."
Russell Gray commented; "I am delighted to take on the role of MD for the 2014 European Youth Brass Band, and I am looking forward to meeting and working with some of the finest talents from all over Europe. I am sure that we will have an excellent week of music making."
Russell has been working as a freelance conductor since 1998 and his career regularly takes him to most European countries, Japan and Australia. After enjoying his time as resident conductor of the Stavanger Brass Band in Norway, his return to England Russell has led many bands to an impressive collection of competition wins, including the Norwegian, Danish, Japanese, Scottish, National Brass Band Championships of GB and the English National Championships which led The Fairey Band to their qualification for the European Brass Band Championships in 2011. In addition to his many conducting roles with a variety of ensembles (including youth organisations such as the National Youth Band of Switzerland and The Queensland Youth Band), Russell is also Adjunct Professor at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Australia, a Brass tutor at the Univesrity of Salford in Manchester, England and President of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors.
As a veteran cornet player Russell has enjoyed success from an early age, winning the Junior Solo
Championships of both Scotland and Great Britain by the time he was 12. Whilst at university he was a member of The Black Dyke Band and later became a Yamaha internationally endorsed soloist, enabling him to become one of the most sought after Brass soloists and clinicians in the world today.
The European Youth Brass Band was founded by the EBBA in 2000 and comprises of promising young players who are formally selected each year by the EBBA member countries they represent. The band is intended to give its young members an opportunity to enjoy new musical experiences, forge international friendships and develop their playing skills and general musicality.
Ulf Rosenburg, President of EBBA concluded: "Russell Gray is an excellent choice for the 2014 European Youth Brass Band. As a band conductor of high international standard and a highly reputed soloist, he will act as an inspirational leader and role model for our young talents from all over Europe."
More information about the European Festival of Brass 2014, which offers core events from 26th April - 4th May in Perth, and outreach festival events taking place from 26th April - 11th May 2014 across the whole of Scotland, available at: www.europeanfestivalofbrass2014.com