Like many other brass band conductors, I never had formal training on things such as baton technique, dealing with complex polyrythms etc, in fact, all the things you would learn on a formal college course for conductors. I met Russell Gray a few years ago when he came to our band to help us in contest preparations and he told me about the course he runs each year which I was finally able to attend this year. This was probably the best music related course I have ever attended - exceptionally well designed with the right mix of theory, practice and feedback at every point during the course. I found the video review particularly useful. I work in the world of Corporate Learning & Development so know what to look for in a well designed course - and this one did not disappoint at all! The band used for this was Bathgate Band and I must also say, they did a brilliant job - not easy for a band to have to deal with 10 different conductors over 2 days and still be smiling at the end of it! The final element of a good training event is being able to put it all into practice at the earliest opportunity - a public concert where each delegate gets to conduct one item each in the program was the ideal way to round off such a course. This course also runs at 2 levels - a Foundation course for people at the start of their journey. This course was run alongside our course and the delegates also got to work with the Bathgate Youth Band and their tutor for the day, Stuart Black. Kudos to both Russell Gray, who is an exceptional tutor, the Bathgate Band, Bathgate Youth Band and Stuart Black. I cannot recommend this course highly enough - regardless of whether you are new to conducting or have been doing it for years, you will gain a lot from attending. Follow Russell's facebook page to get news of the next event.