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The Wallace connection set to explore exciting future with Tullis

A new artistic ethos led by the celebrated trumpet player John Wallace CBE is set to unlock the musical potential of the Tullis Russell Mills Band.

John Wallace
  John Wallace CBE will lead a new artistic and organisational approach at Tullis Russell Mills Band.

Tullis Russell Mills Band has announced the appointment of John Wallace CBE as its new Musical Director.

John has been playing with his home band for the last couple of years, and was delighted to be able to take on the role and lead them in an exciting new direction.

Team approach

The acclaimed musician will now head a team of professional musicians who will act as associate conductors; including Bede Williams (Head of Instrumental Studies at the University of St Andrews), Prof John Miller (recently retired as Head of Wind and Brass at the RNCM), and Tony George (tuba player with the Wallace Collection).

Each will bring their own wealth of knowledge, experience and musical expertise to bear, whilst it is hoped that plans to involve young conductors from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will also extend the benefits of the innovative approach beyond the organisation.

Exciting time

Band Chairman David Chesney, told 4BR: "This is such an exciting time for the Tullis organisation as the new ethos sees us able to access unprecedented musical expertise.

We are full of optimism for a great future and hope that the involvement of these world class musicians will drive the Tullis organisation forward musically and artistically."

David revealed that a new organisation structure will now be put in place; consisting of two bands and a Learning & Development Centre (LDC) to stimulate new talent, support current members and engage with non-competitive music making through the establishment of the Tullis Russell Concert Brass Band, led by Dean Bromage.

Potential explored

Not surprisingly, John Wallace is thrilled by the potential that can now be explored in what he sees will be an exciting future for his home town band.

"It's wonderful to see this all being taken on board for the benefit of everyone involved in the Tullis Russell organisation," he told 4BR.

"We will now be able to offer a variety of musical streams that meets personal interests and abilities. It's a win-win approach for the future."

We will now be able to offer a variety of musical streams that meets personal interests and abilities. It's a win-win approach for the futureJohn Wallace CBE

Profund success

Meanwhile, a band spokesperson said that the success of the recent 'De Profundis' project at the East Neuk Festival, has already also shown the success of what the new approach can bring.

"This was a remarkable success and brought a great deal of media attention and focus on what the band hopes to achieve. We were inundated with congratulations, with critics calling it 'an incredible presentation'.

It certainly proved that there is so much more brass bands can offer once the imagination is set free — and that is what John Wallace will be doing with us."



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Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator