Well folks, it's news about....... me! After 21 years at the helm, Ian Cargill, band founder and conductor since its inception, has decided to call it a day. At a special meeting of the band on 22nd September, I was appointed musical director. Ian Cargill came to the island and decided it needed a brass band. He secured a set of instruments and did all the individual teaching himself. As the band became more established, he secured a lottery grant for a completely new set of instruments, continuing his individual teaching duties with the running and conducting of the band. His achievements in starting the band and keeping it going cannot be understated and the band is united in their appreciation for everything that he has done. It'll be a tough act to follow! It is a band that rarely contests, (largely due to financial constraints - travelling from an island and having to stay overnight at even local contests can be a strain) but enjoys making music for the community, indoors or outdoors. I will be liaising with Craig Masterton, peripatetic teacher and brass teacher for Arran High School, who will be deputy MD and hopefully provide some of his pupils to come along to the band to secure its future. I can only hope I can continue the excellent work of my predecessor. Although conducting's not new to me, I will be entering new areas of commitment to go with it, namely regular one-to-one tuition with the band members. I aim to work as hard as I can to get the band to achieve its full potential with its current members. There'll certainly be no 'hiring and firing' and it is my aim (as it always is when I'm conducting a band) that conductor and band should work as a team to achieve our best. My first rehearsal is tonight!