Richard Hurst, organiser of the Ulster American Folk Park's award-winning Annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival has resigned from the position of Chairperson of the European Bluegrass Music Association [EBMA]. Taking up the post in May of 2008 he strived to build upon the invaluable work carried out by his predecessor Paolo Dettwiler. Working with a team of passionate and committed board members throughout his short tenure, Richard has mixed feelings about his decision citing work and family commitments as the reason behind the move. "Work commitments within National Museums Northern Ireland and at home in Donegal, have just reached the point where something has to give. I have enjoyed the experience of being on the EBMA Board immensely and obviously leave the scene with more than a tinge of sadness and regret. Working with fellow board members has been a joy in itself and their continued commitment to the development of Bluegrass music in Europe is something I will continue to admire and support as an Association member in the years to come. I wish Angelika, Rienk, Petr, Dagfinn and Martino a fair wind into the future and will ensure that our annual Bluegrass Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park continues to promote the EBMA and its work at every opportunity possible".
At their first Skype-Conference on 23rd December 2009, and as recommended by Richard Hurst ("I just want to say that the endeavour, commitment and devotion shown consistently by Angelika makes me think that she is more than able to lead the organisation in the coming weeks and months ahead"), the remaining board members unanimously elected Angelika Torrie as their chairperson. Angelika accepted the challenge, and while Rienk Janssen will take over responsibility for membership administration, the board will be looking for a reliable replacement for the actual bookkeeping - preferably in Switzerland.
Although the EBMA board of directors is sad to see him leave, we send out to Richard Hurst a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU for his work for EBMA over the past months and wish him all the power he needs for all committments at home and at work. And of course we look forward to meeting with him again on the occasion of one or the other bluegrass event.
On behalf of the EBMA board of directors
Angelika Torrie, Chairperson