New trio of trustees join UniBrass Foundation

The UniBrass Foundations adds a trio of new talent to the organisation with the appointment of Andy Baldacchino, Abi Groocock and Nigel Birch.

  There are a trio of new trustees at the UniBrass Foundation

The UniBrass Foundation has announced the appointment of three new trustees.

Andy Baldacchino, Abi Groocock and Nigel Birch join an organisation that looks to widen the participation and promotion of opportunities for brass playing at University's throughout the UK, as well as supporting the UniBrass Contest organising committee.


Durham University physics graduate Andy Baldacchino works for Bank of America in software engineering. As a cornet player at university, he was crucial in helping Durham compete at UniBrass whilst also working behind the scenes as committee treasurer for both the university brass band and the umbrella organisation Music Durham.

He told 4BR: "I'm really excited to join the team. The UniBrass competition was a great part of my undergraduate life and I'm looking forward to continuing my journey with the charity."

In response UniBrass spokesperson Sophie Hart added: "Andy's work in the financial sector will be hugely beneficial to the Foundation and enables UniBrass to continue hosting the contest and produce more work in the wider banding community."


Joining him is Durham University graduate Abi Groocock, who is an active member of the banding community in the North East as well as working as a Classical Music Marketing Communications Coordinator at Sage Gateshead.

She told 4BR: "I'm thrilled to work with the UniBrass Foundation — an organisation that has done so much for the progression of banding within universities.

This is a really exciting time for the charity, with plenty of new projects moving the organisation into 2020 and beyond, and I'm looking forward to doing all I can to support that."

This is a really exciting time for the charity, with plenty of new projects moving the organisation into 2020 and beyond, and I'm looking forward to doing all I can to support thatAbi Groocock

Community bonds

Meanwhile, Nigel Birch is the organisation's first appointment from outside the university sector and will seek to strengthen the bonds between university bands and bands within their local community.

He has been the Musical Director of the multi-award winning Lions Youth Brass for over 25 years. He also works for Love Music Trust, a leading music education provider within Cheshire East, delivering instrumental and vocal projects in numerous primary schools.

He said: "I'm really looking forward promote the UniBrass Foundation. I think there is potential to grow and I'm excited that I will be part of that.

As a teacher and conductor of Lions Youth Brass, I'm particularly interested in growing our vision in non-music-specific universities and have already made contact and arranged that I attend one of the rehearsals with the Keele University Brass Band in January."

Vital appointments

Speaking about these appointments, Sophia Hart added: "Abi's expansive knowledge of venue marketing as well as her work alongside Royal Northern Sinfonia will not only aid contest organisation but provide an insight into how to create and promote new and exciting projects for university bands.

Nigel is also a vital appointment as we prepare for the 10th UniBrass contest on February 8th at Bangor University."

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