Conductor course is “the best yet”

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Musical directors Russell Gray and Stuart Black have described their recent conducting course as “the best yet” after 19 attendees from as far away as Lithuania and Italy converged on the bandroom of Bathgate Brass Band to be taught the art of the baton.

In what is now an established event in the calendar, the course over the weekend of 18/19 May culminated in a concert featuring all of the students conducting selected pieces of music.

The session for more experienced conductors was led by Russell Gray who offered tips on baton technique, hand exercises and rehearsal planning while working with Bathgate Band.

“This was the best course so far!” declared course director Russell, who has been enjoying a run of successes with various brass bands.

The featured soloist at the event was Andrius Gudas from Lithuania who gave an accomplished rendition of Stardust.

The introductory course was once again led by Stuart Black who put his delegates through their paces with the Bathgate Youth Band. His team included the youngest attendee, Douglas, who was just 14 years old!

“It was great to see younger people taking their first steps in front of a band – and well done to all of them!” commented Stuart.

“The Bathgate Band were excellent, doing a four-hour rehearsal with a conveyor belt of different conductors and then performing a concert in the evening.”

Course delegate Andy Wooler remarked: “Conducting the Shostakovich Scherzo was the easy bit compared to what the band had to do!”

Plans are already in place for next year’s event – watch out for the announcement. Whether you are a novice or a more experienced conductor, this course is regarded as a valuable part of your ongoing development.


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