The Ratby Co-operative Band have announced that they have appointed Mareika Gray as their Professional Musical Director as part of a new musical structure within the organisation.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GOLDY SOLUTIONS LTD
In her new role Mareika will provide musical leadership and creative direction for the whole of the Ratby Co-operative Band organisation and will be the principal professional conductor for the Ratby Senior Band on the contesting platform. The role will also see Mareika working alongside Ratby’s team of conductors and band trainers to develop the organisation as a whole, promoting youth development and community music making in the heart of Leicestershire, as well as working to maintain recent high level contest performances.
The partnership marks a new era for the Band who are now looking for applications for the newly created ‘Associate Musical Director’ position within the band, working closely with Mareika and conducting team.
Speaking of her appointment Mareika said ‘I am delighted to be taking on this position with Ratby Co-operative Band. Whilst rehearsing the band for the Masters contest I felt straight away that the relationship worked, and I am now looking forward to be working with all of the bands at Ratby. It is a privilege to be part of such a well-structured organisation that promotes and encourages musical education for younger people. I have always enjoyed working with bands that have a family atmosphere too and Ratby is no exception’.
The appointment also marks a special and unique moment for Ratby band, with Mareika not only being the second female conductor in the band’s history, but also making history itself with Ratby Band being the only band to have had two female Musical Directors who have both conducted winning performances that have received the British Open Grand Shield, the first being Betty Anderson with Ratby Band in 1978.
A young percussionist at that time, and now Ratby Band Chairman Steve Plant added ‘we are really pleased to be able to continue to work with Mareika, following a fantastic debut and result together at the All England Masters International in May, the band are now very much looking forward to continuing to work with Mareika and with our other new position of Associate MD, which the band are now looking to appoint. We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in the position’.
Ratby and Mareika will now spend the summer months continuing to develop their musical relationship ahead of the winter contesting season. Further announcements on the appointment of a new Associate MD will be made in due course.