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KU School of Music welcomes tuba soloist and conductor to campus for residency

Monday, February 27, 2012

LAWRENCE-James Gourlay, internationally-known tuba soloist and conductor, will visit the University of Kansas School of Music March 11-14, 2012.

Gourlay will participate in a three day residency that will include master classes and performances with KU music students. All events are free and open to the public:

  • Sunday, March 11th, 6-9pm, Room 130, Murphy Hall: Gourlay will present a clinic with the Fountain City Brass Band and a clinic of Phillip Wilby’s Masquerade and Jan van der Roost’s Albion.
  • Monday, March 12, 7-9pm, Room 118, Murphy Hall: Gourlay will present a master class featuring students from the KU tuba-euphonium studio.
  • Tuesday, March 13, 7:30pm, Swarthout Recital Hall: Gourlay will perform a recital with Ellen Bottorff on piano
  • Wednesday, March 14, 1pm, Gourlay will present a pedagogy clinic, Room 130, Murphy Hall.

Gourlay's residency is sponsored by Reach Out Kansas, Inc.; The Law Offices of Smithyman & Zakoura, Overland Park, KS; and the Zakoura Family Foundation.

James Gourlay was born in Scotland where, at the age of ten, he was ‘volunteered’ to play in his school brass band. Being tallest in class, he was serendipitously given the tuba, an instrument he loves and continues to promote all over the world.

After much success as a brass band solo champion, Gourlay entered the Royal College of Music but left at age eighteen to become the principal tuba of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Four years later, he took up the same position with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London, where he performed for ten years. Gourlay then performed for ten years with the Orchestra of the Zürich Opera, Switzerland.

Gourlay’s career as a chamber musician has been extensive. He was a member of the Philip Jones and English Brass Ensembles, and as a soloist he performs extensively. He has recorded six CDs, including British Tuba Concertos, recorded for the Naxos label, with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

James Gourlay’s work within the brass band movement forms a vital component of his creative output. After early success with the brass band Berner Oberland in Switzerland, he became music director of the Williams Fairey Band, with which he won the English Masters and British Open contests. James has also been professional conductor of the Grimethorpe Colliery and the Brighouse and Rastrick bands, and has recently won the Swiss Open and National Championships, conducting the brass band Treize Etoiles.

Gourlay’s commitment to music education is a continuing passion. He has been head of win and percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music and deputy principal and music director at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Scotland’s international conservatoire. He holds a DMA degree from Salford University, a master’s degree from Leeds University, a fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, a fellowship of the London College of Music, and is a recipient of the Iles Medal, presented by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for services to the brass band movement.

Gourlay is also increasingly in demand as an orchestral conductor with forthcoming engagements in Brazil, Portugal and the UK. James Gourlay is a former international vice president of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and is full-time music director of Pittsburgh’s River City Brass.

For more information, please contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. MUSIC.KU.EDU.



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Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
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