GUS Announces New Musical Director

Virtuosi GUS Band delighted to announce their new musical director as Adam Cooke

By Mike Smith, 10 Jul 2013

Adam Cooke (Photo: Ian Clowes of Goldy Solutions)

The Virtuosi GUS Band is delighted to announce their new musical director as Adam Cooke. Adam will take up his position immediately following the National Championship Finals in October. His first concert appearance with the band will be at Morley Town Hall on 19th October followed shortly after by his first contest appearance at Brass in Concert 2013.

Speaking to 4barsrest, band manager Mike Smith said:

"Adam first worked with Virtuosi GUS very briefly in 2009 as part of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors competition. Since then, I have followed his emergence with particular interest, most notably his work with Becontree Brass and of course his recent success as runner up in the European Conductors Competition in Oslo.

When I knew last year that we would need to engage a new MD in 2013, Adam immediately became one of a short list of potential candidates. We were very much looking for a fresh perspective, new ideas, and as an energetic young man with a broad musical experience, Adam fits the bill perfectly. The band have enjoyed some rehearsal time with him in recent weeks, either side of his successful trip to Oslo, and plans are already well in place for a fantastic Brass in Concert programme".

Adam added:

"I'm very much looking forward to working with Virtuosi GUS and was delighted to be offered the position. The band's balance of highly experienced players alongside young talent around the stand, as well as their recent good contesting form, makes them an exciting prospect for any conductor. Plans are well under way for our first contest appearance together at Brass in Concert, and we have already had discussions about some innovative concert and recording projects over the coming year aside from the band's contest schedule".

Adam was appointed musical director of Becontree Brass in 2010, having relocated from Manchester to London. The band subsequently qualified for the National Finals on three consecutive occasions, in 2012 winning both the L+SC and Butlins First Section titles at the first attempt following promotion. Other notable contest appearances have included conducting Grimethorpe at Whit Friday in 2012, and leading Brass United (a band comprising of students from both the RNCM and Manchester University) to wins at the University Brass Band Championships in 2011 and 2012.

David Murray, Chairman of Becontree Brass commented:

"Becontree Band is delighted that Adam Cooke is to be the new MD at the Virtuosi GUS Band. Since joining Becontree as musical director, Adam has brought the band from the 2nd section to the 1st section narrowly missing out on promotion to the Championship section earlier this year. Along the way Becontree under Adam's stewardship have become Butlins Mineworkers 1st section champions, London and Southern Counties Champions, 6th at the National Finals(1st section) and now ranked 102nd brass band in the world (4barsrest).

Although Adam's departure is disappointing news for Becontree we realise he is one of the rising stars in the brass band world and will look with interest at his progress. We are sure the combination of Adam Cooke and GUS is going to be a very successful combination".