Calum to head to Finland for Masters scholarship

Saturday 29 June 2024

Coalburn Silver Band will soon be saying farewell and good luck to long-standing principal cornet player Calum Blair following his success in gaining a fully-funded scholarship to study for a Masters in Music at the Sibelius Academy in Finland.

Calum joined Coalburn in 2015 from Barrhead Burgh and quickly became the band’s principal cornet. He has made huge contributions to the band’s performances during the past nine years, playing at the National Championships in Cheltenham on three occasions and winning the First Section in the Scottish Championships in 2023 where he was awarded the best instrumentalist prize.

Calum was part of the band’s historic debut in the Championship section where the band was placed 5th. 

In 2022, he was the principal cornet of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

Calum has also been awarded Coalburn’s player of the year on two occasions – in 2015 and 2023 – by musical director Gareth Bowman.

Gareth commented: “We are so proud of Calum. It has been amazing to see and be part of his incredible development. He has brought so much to our band family, including wonderful performances, musicality, friendship and leadership as well as supporting the development of others.

“An exciting new chapter awaits Calum and we’ll be delighted to see what the future holds for him and to welcome him back to Coalburn in the future.”

Calum said: “I’m incredibly sad to be leaving Coalburn, but very much looking forward to moving to Finland! I know I’ll be back and playing with the band again in the future.”

The Coalburn brass band family will undoubtedly miss Calum greatly but is delighted that he will be joined in Finland by former band member Jack Archibald who will also be studying at the Sibelius Academy from August.


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