It has been announced that Chris Jeans has ended his two decade musical association with The GUS Band.
Speaking to 4BR the 61 year old said: "It's with a heavy heart that I've made this decision. My post-Covid workload with educational projects has increased greatly, and along with date clashes and my commitment to Youth Brass 2000 it has made it impossible to maintain the levels required by such an outstanding band."
He added: "My recent spell of ill health and subsequent operations have also made me realise that life is too short, and I need to slow down a bit. My body has been telling me to take it a bit easier."
Chris swapped the trombone for the Artistic Director baton at GUS in November 2018, and has played a central role in helping maintain their position as a major championship contender with commitment to the promotion of talented young players.
The band posted a top-ten finish at the National Finals in 2019 and claimed the Midlands Regional title in 2020, although his final appearance at the Grand Shield ended in them coming ninth.
He said: "When I first took over, I was aware of the need to bring in new talent to underpin a long term development plan. The support I was given was excellent and I think the band is now able to push forward once again.
The GUS Band is so close to my heart that I can only thank them for all that they have helped me to achieve and to enjoy in music. I wish them all the very, very best."
Chris highlighted a number of initiatives that have linked the band to Leicester Grammar School and Youth Brass 2000, whilst he also added that he hopes to continue to help develop the wider banding culture with his association with the French Open Championships where he is the President of the Jury.
The GUS Band is so close to my heart that I can only thank them for all that they have helped me to achieve and to enjoy in music. I wish them all the very, very bestChris Jeans
Long term development
He added: "The connections with Leicester Grammar School and Youth Brass 2000 are part of my belief in the vital importance of bands making strong educational links to nourish their long term development and sustainability.
The French Open is a wonderful event that also does so much for the links between bands across Europe. All this and with other new projects such as an Orchestral Instrumental Scheme and an Outreach Programme means that I will remain very busy, but with just a bit more time on my hands to enjoy relaxing."