The UniBrass Foundation is excited to announce that they have appointed three new trustees after advertising for the position in October. The Foundation is made up of a board of trustees devoted to widening participation and promoting opportunities for brass playing at University as well as supporting the UniBrass Contest Organising Committee. The new trustees, Andy Baldacchino, Abi Groocock and Nigel Birch bring a range of crucial skills and experience to help the charity continue to support brass banding within universities.
Andy is a recent physics graduate from Durham University, who now works for Bank of America in software engineering. As a cornet player at university, Andy was crucial in helping Durham compete at UniBrass whilst also working behind the scenes as committee treasurer for both the university brass band and the umbrella organisation Music Durham. Speaking about his new role, Andy says, ‘I'm really excited to join the team! The UniBrass competition was a great part of my undergraduate life and I'm looking forward to continuing my journey with the charity’. His work in the financial sector will be hugely beneficial to the Foundation and enables UniBrass to continue hosting the contest and produce more work in the wider banding community.
Also a graduate of Durham University, Abi is an active member of the banding community in the North East as well as working as a Classical Music Marketing Communications Coordinator at Sage Gateshead, an international music venue known in the banding world for hosting Brass in Concert. Her expansive knowledge of venue marketing, as well as her work alongside Royal Northern Sinfonia, will not only aid contest organisation but provide an insight into how to create and promote new and exciting projects for university bands. ‘I’m thrilled to be working with the UniBrass Foundation - an organisation that has done so much for the progression of banding within universities’ Abi continued ‘This is a really exciting time for the charity, with plenty of new projects moving the organisation into 2020 and beyond, and I’m looking forward to doing all I can to support that.’
As the first trustee outside of the university community to be appointed, Nigel will play a large part in the charity’s vision to strengthen bonds between university bands and bands within their local community. He has been the Musical Director of Lions Youth Brass for over 25 years, helping to develop the organisation from just 12 players to over 100 and twice winning the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. Nigel also works for the Love Music Trust, who are the leading music education provider within Cheshire East, and delivers instrumental and vocal projects in nearly 20 Primary Schools. Nigel has already been making crucial movements in promoting the work of UniBrass and discusses his plans within the board, ‘I’m really looking forward to working with everyone and promoting the UniBrass Foundation. I think there is a lot of potential to grow and I’m excited that I will be part of that. As a Primary school music teacher and conductor of Lions Youth Brass, I am particularly interested in growing our vision in non-music-specific universities and have already made contact and arranged that I attend one of the rehearsals with the Keele University Brass Band in January.’
Andy, Abi and Nigel are already beginning to help with preparation for the 10th UniBrass contest on February 8th 2020 in Bangor University. For more information about our current trustees, the contest and the work of the UniBrass Foundation search UniBrass on Facebook or visit the new UniBrass website at unibrass.co.uk