AN AYR musician has made it through to the semi-final of an elite music competition.

Trombonist Joshua Parkhill is the only representative from Scotland to win through to the semi-final of the 2023 European Soloist Competition.

He is one of 37 instrumentalists who entered this ninth competition and after close analysis of the video entries by the European Brass Band Association, 20 players have been shortlisted for the semi-final which will be held in The Cube, Malmö Live, on Monday, May 1.

Joshua, who lives in Ayr, started playing brass when he was four years old through the Salvation Army learners’ programme.

After starting out on tenor horn he moved onto baritone before finally settling on trombone when he was 14.

It was a decision that was influenced by the fact that the instrument was played in most of the clubs at school.

He was self-taught for the first few years, with the assistance of a slide position chart drawn up by his grandfather.

Joshua has played for a number of bands. His first experience of contesting was playing trombone with Brass Sounds Inverclyde.

He has since played with Dunaskin Doon Band and as solo trombone at Dalmellington Band for a number of years.

He said: “Due to the intensity of my current studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland I have stopped playing for a band full-time for the time being.

“However I have helped out at contests with Whitburn Band and Reg Vardy Band which were fun opportunities.

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“One of my proudest achievements was being appointed principal trombone of the World Youth Brass Band, who performed at the World Music Contest (WMC 2022) in the Netherlands last year.”

Joshua is currently the musical director of Brass Sounds Inverclyde, with whom he has enjoyed some success, winning the Fourth Section title at the Scottish Championships and also topping the same section at the Scottish Challenge last year.

He has also conducted Dunaskin Doon, Lochgelly and Kilmarnock Concert Brass in rehearsals and concerts and this is an aspect of his career he hopes to develop in the future.

He said: “I enjoy helping people achieve their musical goals and seeing the benefits community music making has on people’s lives.”

For the solo competition submission, he played La Petite Suzanne by Arthur Pryor, accompanied by the talented Scott Mitchell.

“For the competition in Malmö I have to perform a 10-minute programme which will allow me to explore my interests in contemporary music as well as demonstrate my lyrical playing ability too,” he continued.

“If I get through to the final I will be playing Edward Gregson’s Trombone Concerto as it is a piece that I really love and have played in the past to win the Scottish Solo Competition during the pandemic lockdown.”

Joshua is one of three trombonists in the semi-final.

EBBA’s chair of its music commission, Chris King, commented: “The standard of entries was very high and all the players should all be very proud of their performances.

"We feel that the future of brass and percussion playing, and of brass bands in Europe, is in very good hands.”