Following the story led by 4BR earlier today, Leyland Band has confirmed that its partnership with conductor Russell Gray has come to an end.
Band Chairman Gary Westwood officially stated on behalf of Leyland Band: "Leyland has always been, and continues to be, an extremely active band with a busy contesting schedule as well as an impressive concert diary. Similarly, Russell Gray leads a busy professional life both within and outside the brass band movement."
He went on to add: "After extensive discussions over the last couple of months, the band and Russell were unable to reach an agreement regarding the level of commitment that the band felt it needed going into the new year.
Therefore it is with regret on behalf of both parties, that the band have accepted Russell’s resignation as Musical Director with immediate effect. This information was firstly communicated to the band members and associates on Monday 7 January at our first rehearsal back after the Christmas break."
...it goes without saying that everyone at Leyland would like to express their thanks to Russell for all his hard work and efforts that have brought us so much successChairman, Gary Westwood
Gary Westwood further added: "The last few years under Russell’s tutelage have been some of the most successful years of the band’s 60 odd year history and it goes without saying that everyone at Leyland would like to express their thanks to Russell for all his hard work and efforts that have brought us so much success.
He leaves the band in fantastic shape and we wish him well in all his future endeavours."
RNCM Festival of Brass
Gary Westwood concluded by saying: "In consultation with RNCM Festival of Brass Artistic Director, Paul Hindmarsh, the band is delighted to announce that Howard Evans will lead the band at the event at the end of January.
Howard is an extremely well-respected musician, particularly in the Salvation Army music world, and Leyland Band is very much looking forward to working with him during the next few weeks."
In respect to a successor, Gary Westwood ended by stating: "An announcement will be made regarding the successor secured to conduct the band at the North West Regional Championships in the coming weeks."