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Published on September 11th, 2018 by gavin

Grimethorpe Announce Two New Principal Signings

Grimethorpe Colliery Band is delighted to announce the appointment of two key players to its existing and impressive ranks of world-class performers.

Kathleen Gaspoz has been appointed as Principal Cornet of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and will take up the role with immediate effect.

Originating from Switzerland, Kathleen began playing the cornet at the age of eight in her hometown band situated in the village of Vex in the Swiss Alps. She began entering solo competitions at the age of ten and demonstrated considerable early talent in becoming the Swiss cornet champion 3 times, in 2008, 2011 and 2012 and in being appointed principal cornet of the European Youth Brass Band in 2011 (Montreux) and 2013 (Oslo).

After obtaining a First Class Degree in Economics from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland Kathleen relocated to the UK to pursue her musical studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. After completing her Master’s degree and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music, Kathleen is currently continuing her studies at the University of Salford where she hopes to achieve her Doctorate in the Musical Arts (DMA). She is an established Besson Artist and has gained an international reputation as a distinguished performer through her work with some of the world’s leading brass bands.

A spokesperson for Grimethorpe Colliery Band told A4B: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome Kathleen to Grimethorpe. She joins us at a most exciting time in the bands history as we look forward to embracing a new culture based on an artistic and commercial vision which is worthy of our global brand. As an outstanding performer and the first female principal cornet of the band, we believe that Kathleen’s abilities and international reputation will play a major role in helping us to achieve our future objectives. As the winner of the Best Instrumentalist award at the National Championship last year Kathleen’s appointment will provide a real boost to the band in advance of our appearance at the Royal Albert Hall next month.

We are also delighted that the band’s long-standing and legendary principal cornet, Professor Roger Webster, will remain with the band as assistant to Kathleen. Our enormous thanks go to Roger for all that he has achieved as principal cornet of the band over many years. To hand over the role he has carried out with distinction to Kathleen and in also agreeing to remain as a key member of the band for the foreseeable future, is an enormous boost to our capabilities.”

Kathleen Gaspoz told A4B: “I am thrilled to be joining the Grimethorpe Colliery Band at this exciting time. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, when you speak about brass bands, Grimethorpe are the band most people have heard of. To be part of Grimethorpe is an amazing opportunity and I believe that the band has the potential, as well as the aspiration, which matches much of what I am looking to achieve in my playing career in the future. To be able to play alongside Roger is also such a privilege! I can’t wait to get started.”

Roger Webster said: “Having watched and taught Kathleen in recent years I believe that she is the obvious and outstanding candidate to take on the principal cornet role at Grimethorpe. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time in leading the band where it all started for me years ago. But this is the right time and the right person to hand over to and I’m sure that Kathleen will serve the band extremely well and lead it to new success in the future.”

In addition, Grimethorpe Colliery Band is delighted to announce a further appointment.

Philippe Schwartz has been appointed as Principal Euphonium of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and will take up the role with immediate effect.

Originally from Luxembourg, Philippe began playing the Euphonium at the age of eight at the Conservatoire de Musique de la Ville de Luxembourg. In 2004 he pursued his musical education at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he completed both a Bachelor and a Master’s degree with distinction. Philippe was the first brass player in the history of the Royal Northern College of Music to achieve a unanimous perfect score of 100% in his final master’s recital. This awarded him the ‘Harry Mortimer Brass Student of the Year’ prize. Philippe is currently continuing his studies at the University of Salford where he is undertaking his Doctorate in the Musical Arts (DMA).
Philippe, also a Besson Artist, is currently based in Manchester and works as a Euphonium soloist and brass tutor. In his freelance career, Philippe has performed with various orchestras across the UK such as the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as well as solo-recitals in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Norway and England.

Philippe has previously been a member of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and following his performance at the 2018 British Open Championship where he was successful in being awarded the prestigious Geoffrey Whitham Memorial Trophy as the best Euphonium performance of the day, the band are delighted to welcome Philippe back to Grimethorpe.

A spokesperson for Grimethorpe Colliery Band told A4B: “We are both thrilled and privileged to be able to welcome Philippe back to Grimethorpe. As a player of international renown he joins us at a most exciting time. Our aspirations for the band are matched only by Philippe’s ambition and we look forward to working closely with him and the other members of the band to ensure that Grimethorpe continues to build upon its long and unique history in artistic and performance excellence.

Philippe Schwartz said: “I am delighted to be re-joining the Grimethorpe Colliery Band at this exciting time. There are no bigger names in the world of brass bands than Grimethorpe. The vision which the band are now developing for their future is extremely positive. I feel privileged and thrilled to have been asked to play a part in their future.

Both Kathleen and Philippe will take up their respective roles with Grimethorpe for their forthcoming appearance at the Finals of the National Brass Band Championship in London in October.




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