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Brass Bands England announce new CEO

Brass Bands England spring a surprise as British Bandsman Managing Editor Kenneth Crookston is appointed to the £50,000 a year leadership role of the organisation.

Kenny Crookston
  Kenny Cookston is well known in the banding world in a number of roles.

Brass Bands England (BBE) has announced that its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is to be Kenneth Crookston (above) currently the Proprietor and Managing Editor of British Bandsman magazine.

The Scotsman is also one of the people behind the recently formed IBB Media Ltd, which has launched the commercial venture BrassPass.tv.

He is a member of the Brass in Concert Festival management team and of the advisory panel to the Norwegian Siddis entertainment competition. He also presents the Brass Band Podcast internet broadcast programme.

Strong candidates

Making the announcement, BBE Chairman, Mike Kilroy, commented: "We are delighted to be able to make this appointment, which has followed a comprehensive interview process in which four very strong candidates were shortlisted from those who applied during February.

We would like to thank everyone who showed interest in the post and hope that they all continue to support our work in the years ahead.

Kenny Crookston was chosen by the four members of our panel — Nigel Morgan (BBE Treasurer and panel Chairman), Lucy Cutt and Mike Walsh (both BBE trustees) and Peter Massey (Director, North (Yorkshire), Arts Council England) — who were unanimous in that he is the right person to lead the organisation in the delivery of our business plan."

Strong and purposeful leadership

Mike Kilroy continued: "Strong and purposeful leadership are important attributes of the CEO in any organisation, as is the ability to deliver according to its business plan.

In addition to demonstrating these qualities, Kenny's outstanding knowledge and wide-ranging experience in brass banding worldwide has given him a tremendous overview, and myself and the entire Board of Trustees are very excited about what the future holds under his guidance."

Andrew Coe

Commenting on Andrew Coe's contribution as Interim CEO over the past 12 months, Mike Kilroy added: "We would like to thank Andrew for his work in helping to define the future direction of BBE during his time with us.

We wish him well with his business endeavours and in his future contribution to brass banding."


Talking about his appointment, Kenny Crookston said: "I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed to this role at Brass Bands England, particularly in that the other candidates for this highly sought-after position have so much to offer.

I'm especially pleased that the panel members and, subsequently, the other Trustees share my vision for a successful future for brass bands and I can't wait to get to work in delivering it along with the other members of the BBE team."

CEO experience

Kenneth Crookston has been Editor of British Bandsman since 2004 and Managing Editor since his company, KGC Media Ltd., purchased the magazine in 2015.

A player with the Whitburn Band for many years, and who he is still associated as a founding chairman of its board of trustees, more recently he has co-presented The Brass Band Podcast and has been a member of the Brass in Concert Festival management team since 2012.

A former member of the Scottish Brass Band Association Executive Board, he is a founding member of the four-person advisory group responsible for artistic and organisational aspects of Siddis Brass.

In 2010, he commentated on the need for the then British Federation of Brass Bands to transform into what became Brass Bands England.

He has since served on BBE's Advisory Body to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Brass Bands at Westminster.

Kenny's outstanding knowledge and wide-ranging experience in brass banding worldwide has given him a tremendous overview, and myself and the entire Board of Trustees are very excited about what the future holds under his guidanceMike Kilroy

Relinquishing role

4BR has been informed that he will adopt his new full-time role during May, by which time he will have addressed his role at British Bandsman and other activities within brass banding.

He added: "This is an extremely important new role and one that will require tremendous commitment if BBE is to meet its goal of becoming a global-leading organisation of its type.

I shall therefore be relinquishing my position at British Bandsman and making way for new and fresh blood in this iconic role, which has kept me extremely busy since November 2004."

Exciting time

Speaking on behalf of the Trustees of Brass Bands England, Mike Kilroy concluded: "This is a very exciting time for BBE and Kenny's appointment follows those of Dr. Alex Parker and Sophie Anderson, who are already settling into their new roles as Relationship & Partnership Manager and Development & Education Co-ordinator respectively.

We welcome them all aboard and are confident that the coming years will be a time of significant development both for Brass Bands England and brass bands in England."

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Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist