Harrogate Band are delighted to announce the appointment of Craig Ratcliffe as thier new Musical Director. His appointment comes after an extensive search for the right person who can develop and inspire the Band and bring in new ideas to entertain audiences. On being appointed Craig said: "This is a dream come true for me, I am absolutely delighted to be doing this job. I live in Harrogate and to conduct my 'home' band is a real honour." When asked what his vision for the Band was he said: "I want to ensure we're seriously entertaining whilst keeping our reputation for pioneering new music. I'm really keen to work and collaborate with other musical groups in our area to do this. We have a hugely experienced and talented set of players in the Band. We also have a fantastic reputation but that reputation exists mainly outside Harrogate. I want to show the people of Harrogate that they have a seriously entertaining and innovative band". Craig, 27, is a teacher of Music and Music technology at St. John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate and played euphonium for Yorkshire Co-operative and Pennine Brass whilst studying music at Huddersfield University. For the past 4 years, Craig has been the Band's principal euphonium player and more recently, the Assistant Musical Director and therefore knows not just the players but the local area and clients the Band performs for. His appointment comes after spending 6 successful years with the Tewit Youth Band as Musical Director. As well as working with brass bands, Craig has a huge amount of experience in many other musical fields and alongside his role as Instrumental Tuition Co-ordinator at St. John Fisher, he is happily at home working with many different types of musical group. Craig is also well recognised for his work as an Artistic Director of the International Youth Music Festival in Harrogate, and can usually be found conducting the massed band of international musicians on the finale night of the festival. Harrogate's Chairman, Keith Graham, is absolutely delighted with the appointment: "Craig's been our Assistant Musical Director for the last few months and in his short time in front of the Band has developed and energised our players. He's an excellent compere, has a great rapport with audiences and has bags of experience in putting on great concerts. As he's been in the Band he knows our clients very well and has already introduced new ideas to make our improve our performances. This is a great appointment and we're so pleased it's gone to a Harrogate man."