This is taken from the website of first section Stannington Brass Band (Sheffield). Stannington Brass Band are proud to announce that they have appointed Russell Gray as the new musical director. Born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Russell began his music making at an early age when he took up the Tenor Horn aged seven and began playing with the Doncaster Citadel Salvation Army band. Over the following years he was involved with various ensembles including the Armthorpe Elmfield Band under Hayden Griffiths, and it was during this time that he decided to make military music a career. He enlisted as a Junior Musician into the Kings Division stationed in York in 1980 and began 2 years military and musical training before being posted to The Band of The Queens Lancashire Regiment in 1982 as a cornet player. During his service with the band he served in the United Kingdom, Germany and Cyprus and attended The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall in 1987 for a one year instrumental course. After returning to the band for a further 4 years, he was selected as a potential Bandmaster and returned to Kneller Hall for a three years course, graduating in December 1993 and being appointed Bandmaster of The Gibraltar Regiment. May 1996 saw him on the move again when he was appointed to the largest infantry regiment at that time, The Royal Irish Regiment, as Bandmaster stationed in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. During the next 2 years he was involved in many high profile engagements with the band including the Royal Tournament and Presentation of Colours to the 1st Battalion by His Royal Highness the Duke of York. In 1998 he was selected for appointed as Bandmaster of The Royal Artillery based in Woolwich, and was privileged to work with the oldest established orchestra in Great Britain and one of the few ensembles within military music able to perform as a Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Band. Whilst with the band he took part in many ceremonial and state occasions including Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Trooping The Colour Salutes, State Visits and the Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Russell left The Royal Artillery Band in September of this year and once again returned to Kneller Hall to work in Headquarters Army Music, to concentrate on resettlement, in readiness for leaving the Armed Forces in May 2004 after 24 years service. He is delighted to have been asked to work with the Stannington Brass Band and is looking forward to future successes.