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Gourlay ends ten year musical link with Treize Etoiles

James Gourlay has decided to bring to a close his decade long association with Treize Etoiles — with a trio of National titles and a quartet of Swiss Open wins to his name.

  James Gourlay enjoyed a highly successful decade at the helm with Treize Etoiles

James Gourlay has informed 4BR that he has decided to bring to an end his ten year association with the Treize Etoiles Band in Switzerland.


During his tenure as professional conductor he led them to memorable victories at the Swiss National Championships in 2008, 2010 and 2014, as well as the Swiss Open in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

The band also finished runner-up at the Kerkrade WMC in 2009 and third in 2013, whilst they were also runner-up at the 2009 European Championship.

He made his last contest appearance with Treize Etoile at the Swiss National Championship in Montreux in November 2018, helping them to claim third place with critically acclaimed performances.

I've had a wonderful time working with some excellent musicians. I thank the band from the bottom of my heart and wish them wellJim Gourlay

Pittsburgh base

Now based in the USA where he has rejuvenated the artistic profile of the Pittsburgh based River City Brass to such an extent that in 2018 he was named as one of the USA's 'Top 30 Professionals of the Year', the Scotsman told 4BR that he felt the time was now right for a new challenge.

"I've had a wonderful time working with some excellent musicians. I thank the band from the bottom of my heart and wish them well.

I'm increasingly busy with my teaching commitments at Duquesne University, whilst the increased artistic profile of River City Brass has opened up many new avenues to explore.

He added: "There is a still a great deal I wish to do — starting with a return to the UK to conduct at the RNCM Brass Band Festival, but this was a decision I felt was right for myself and such an outstanding band."

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