STUART BLACK - MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Stuart started playing at the age of 10 with Jedforest Instrumental band on 3rd Cornet. He spent 8 years there progressing up through the ranks to the Flugel Horn chair which he occupied for around 4 years. During his time with Jedforest the band won several contests and Stuart made the journey with the band to take part in the National finals in Torquay and twice in Harrogate, Stuart twice gaining an honourable mention at these contests.
Stuart won the Borders Slow Melody contest 4 times out of 7 attempts, as well as coming 2nd twice.
In 2002 he won the Jedburgh and North West of Scotland Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year. In 2004 Stuart was part of a quartet entered in the Scottish Intermediate Quartet Championships, the quartet being successful in reaching the finals of the next section up the following year.
In 2005 he moved to Salford to study Music and Performance under the direction of Professor David King, Russell Gray and Howard Evans. During his time there he got the opportunity to play in such places as Regent Hall in London. Stuart graduated in summer 2008.
While at University he had a year long Spell playing Flugel Horn with the Timperley Band, with whom he won the North West First Section Areas, the Tameside Open, and the Wilkinson’s Open. Another trip to the National Finals in Harrogate for Stuart resulted in a top 6 place.
Whilst at university he gained a 2/1 grading for his Performance Module, which was one of his major modules in his final year.
During his spell in England he was fortunate enough to play with bands such as Wingates, Hepworth, and Besses of the Barn.
In August 2007 Stuart was employed by Greenfield Band where he stayed for a little over 3 years. Whilst there he enjoyed a few good contest results including top 6 at Pontons 2008 and runner up at the Tameside Open, also in 2008.
Stuart has enjoyed working with a number of other bands in England (Eagley, Blackley Denton, to name but a few) and Scotland (Jedforest Instrumental, Langholm Town, and Mactaggerts) and was been invited to be the Guest Tutor for the "C" Band at the Scottish Borders Brass Workshops in March 2009.
During his time in England Stuart was been lucky enough to gain advice and guidance from several respected conductors such as Russell Gray, Professor David King, Richard Evans and Garry Cutt, helping him find the enjoyment that he gets from conducting.
Since moving back to Scotland, Stuart has completed his Foundation Diploma in Conducting through the Scottish Brass Band Association and Perth University. He took over the reigns at Penicuik Silver Band as Musical Director in Oct 2010.
Stuart has also taken on the post of Musical Director at Galashieles Brass Band, where he is currently helping them set up a youth initiative. He has also helped to expand the youth initiative at Jedforest Instrumental Band, starting young learners and eventually forming the Jedforest "C" band, as well as tutoring some of their current players. In addition to this he has formed the Jedforest future ensemble to help youngsters who are on the verge of entering the senior band, aiding them to have a smoother transition into the band, as well as giving them extra help to progress with their general playing. He has also just been appointed as the band's Resident Conductor.
As if all of this is not enough, Stuart is also in the middle of setting up a workshop to introduce brass to St.Mary's Private school in Melrose.
As his day job, Stuart is a supply Brass Instructor with the Borders Council, standing in for the tutors in the schools.