David Thornton appointed Director of RNCM International Brass Band Festival

We’re delighted to announce that David Thornton has accepted the position of Director of the RNCM International Brass Band Festival.

David Thornton with euphoniumDavid, RNCM Director of Brass Bands, takes over from Paul Hindmarsh, who stepped down in January after 30 successful years.

Established in 2001 as the RNCM Brass Band Festival, the newly named RNCM International Brass Band Festival brings together leading brass band ensembles and renowned soloists for an incredible celebration of the brass band world.

Today, building on the impressive legacy established by Paul, the College will develop and strengthen relationships with key brass band partners, composers, and solo artists around the globe.

Manus Carey, Deputy Principal (Performance and Programmes) said: ‘The RNCM Brass Band Festival is such a key fixture in the year for brass bands and audiences alike, as well as for us at the RNCM, and such a unique and exciting event that attracts international attention. Paul Hindmarsh has been a creative driving force behind the success of the festival for the past 30 years, and I am excited as we look to build and develop on what he has created into the future. We are fortunate to have an incredibly strong brass band staff at the RNCM, and I am delighted that Dave Thornton, as our Director of Brass Band Studies, has agreed to take forward the directorship of the festival.’

David will now work closely with the RNCM’s Programming Team to mould forthcoming festivals within the College’s overall mission to define the future of music.

He said: ‘The RNCM Brass Band Festival has been a personal highlight of the year for me for as long as I can remember, as both an audience member and performer. Since its inception it has become a major platform for brass band performance and the advancement of the repertoire. I’ve been lucky enough to have been concerto soloist at the festival nine times over the past twenty years, as well as conducting several premiere performances and this reflects my desire and passion to promote and enhance the artistic experiences of our brass band performers and audiences alike. It is truly a thrill and a privilege to be invited to direct this Festival and to uphold the incredible legacy that Paul has created in the last 30 years.’

With a world-class reputation, the RNCM is recognised as one of the finest places to study brass. Its stellar brass department, under the directorship of trumpeter Murray Greig, includes several prominent visiting professors and staff specialising in brass band instruments, such as James Gourlay, David King, Thomas Ruedi, Steven Mead, Roger Webster, Owen Farr, Richard Marshall and Les Neish, amongst others. In December, the RNCM was thrilled to award Paul Hindmarsh with Fellowship of the RNCM for his outstanding dedication and contribution to the organisation.

Paul Hindmarsh and David Thornton

Paul added: ‘Under the stewardship of the RNCM the annual Brass Band Festival has evolved into a unique annual celebration of the creative energy that fuels the best of brass band music and performance. Having established an annual event in Manchester 32 years ago, it has been one of the joys of my musical life to curate the event for most of that time, and since 2005 as its Artistic Director. Now that I am stepping down from the role, I am confident that it will continue to flourish to honour the best of the past, celebrate the new work of the present and foster the talents of young aspiring composers and performers for the future. I wish Director David Thornton and the team the very best.’

23 March 2023