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Leyland appoints new solo euphonium

Two time Australian champion James Blackford becomes the new solo euphonium at Leyland Band.

Blackford
  James Blackford moves from the baritone to the solo euphonium chair

James Blackford, a two-time Australian National Euphonium Champion, is to take on the solo euphonium role at Leyland Band.

Currently studying at the RNCM in Manchester, James has been playing solo baritone with the North West band, and was an integral part of the team that secured at top-six finish at the National Finals in October.

Reputation

Before arriving in Manchester, James graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Advanced Performance and moved to Sydney to become the youngest ever full-time member of the prestigious NSW Police Band.

There he enhanced his reputation as an outstanding performer with several premier wind and brass bands, won the euphonium division of the Australian National Championships on two occasions, and travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee to compete in the semi-finals of the 2016 ITEC Euphonium Artist Division.

A member of National Australia Brass, he was also the Principal Euphonium with Pacific Brass and Warringah Concert Brass where he was able to carry on his passion for educating young brass players as well as being involved in several solo and ensemble recording projects.

He headed to the UK to study under Steven Mead and David Thornton with the support of the John Fewkes Scholarship, a Marah Mahlowe Brass Award and assistance by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.

We knew what a talent we had on our hands in our preparations for London, and his captivating solo performances in our Christmas concerts have shown thisLeyland Band

Delighted

The Leyland Band told 4BR: "We're delighted to have appointed James. We knew what a talent we had on our hands in our preparations for London, and his captivating solo performances in our Christmas concerts have shown this.

We would also like to place on record our thanks to Steve Walsh who has held the solo euphonium position over the last year. Steve delivered many performances of world-class quality, and we wish him all the best for the future."

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