Tuesday, 24 March 2015

European Bluegrass Music Association Board - New Board Announced

Top Picture - New Board Members (left to right):
Richard Ciferský, Susie Bowe (existing Board Member), Stu Vincent & Eugene O'Brien
Returning Board Members: Martino Coppo & Chris Keenan
As mentioned in the EBMA blog article of the 6th March regarding the EBMA AGM, Angelika Torrie, Rienk Janssen, Petr Brandejs and Christopher Howard-Williams announced their decision to step back from the EBMA Board subsequently, Dagfinn Pederson also announced his resignation at short notice. Following the Board Meeting and the EBMA AGM held during the Munich Bluegrass Festival three new board members were elected.

Richard Ciferský from Slovakia is an established professional musician having recorded with his own bands (Bill Faster and Fragment) as well as with recording and touring with US artists (see Richard's website) and is the owner of Radio Velvet - Europe's first 24 hour internet Bluegrass radio station (website). Stu Vincent has been involved with the EBMA since mid-2014 as part of the EBMA Blog Team writing and editing articles and also hosts two weekly internet Bluegrass radio shows - one for The Bluegrass Mix based in the US and the other on Radio Velvet. Eugene O'Brien is an Irish-born banjo player known around the European festivals as a member of Sons of Navarone. Eugene is also a member of the British Bluegrass Music Association board and has been elected to be the Chair of the newly constituted EBMA Board. Susie Bowe, Martino Coppo and Chris Keenan were existing Board members who will continue to serve on the Board. It should also be mentioned that retiring members Angelika Torrie, Petr Brandesj and Rienk Janssen will continue to take a supporting role to the new Board and the EBMA (assistance which has been gratefully accepted); Angelika will remain as Chief Editor for the Bluegrass Europe magazine, Petr will continue to support with the EBMA scholarships programme and Rienk will continue to manage the membership administration.

The new EBMA held their first Board meeting on Monday 23rd March. All recognised the work that had been done by the previous Board which resulted in the EBMA receiving a Distinguished Achievement Award at last year's IBMA World of Bluegrass. From the agenda items which were submitted for the first board meeting it seems that EBMA will have a very busy year ahead!

Coming from that meeting:
  • (As mentioned before) Eugene O'Brien elected to Chair the EBMA.
  • To build closer relationships with the national Bluegrass Music Associations within Europe.
  • To look at EBMA membership from the perspective of performing musicians and Bluegrass fans and how EBMA can best support and reward membership.
  • To review the presentation of the EBMA through its website and other social media.
  • To ensure that the current EBMA processes which support Bluegrass music are maintained and, where possible, developed.
  • To look to set a date for the 2016 EBMA Bluegrass Gathering and develop an informative, supportive and entertaining programme.
2015 is going to be an exciting year for the EBMA and Bluegrass music in Europe .