A fourth-generation musician, Gregory Butcher was born in Melbourne, Australia 1962. He completed a Bachelor's Degree majoring in Ethnomusicology and Musicology from the University of New England. He has also studied composition with Associate Professor Ann Ghandar (UNE), and conducting with Professor Jerry Nowak (USA).
Butcher is a Fellow of Trinity College London (Composition) and a Fellow in Composition from the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition. He is also a Represented Artist with the Australian Music Centre, Sydney.
At age 15 he began brass & percussion studies, performing a number of xylophone solos on ABC radio band programs with his father's community bands. During this time he won NSW Regional and State percussion ensemble competitions.
Butcher started composing and arranging as a member of the Royal Australian Air Force Air Command Band, Sydney. Joining at the age of 19, and staying a member of the band for 20 years, he performed on trombone, euphonium, tuba and percussion, also appearing many times as the big band vocalist while touring nationally as well as overseas. Serving in the band gave him a wide instrumental knowledge (as did his father who was Director of Music–RAAF Central Band, Melbourne) arranging music to suit the Wind Band, Big Band and Marching Band for public, television, school and official ceremonial performances. World premieres were also performed by this ensemble.
Butcher also has over 30 years of professional experience as a freelance session player and conductor, performing with many other professional and amateur groups including jazz ensembles, professional club bands, service bands, school bands, marching bands, orchestras, choirs, rock bands, theatrical musicals, cabaret and television. He has performed for community, corporate and private events including Presidential and Royal occasions. He has also tutored in brass and has been the resident conductor of bands at many Primary and High Schools in NSW. Butcher was the inaugural Director of the Clarence Valley Conservatorium, Grafton NSW, and founding Director of the Clarence Valley Sinfonia. He has also been a former member of the NSW Music Teachers’ Association, having taught privately for many years.
Commissions have included test pieces for New Zealand and Australian National & State A–Grade Band Championships from A Country Meadow for solo cornet & piano, to Music for a Jubilant Occasion for Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In 2007, Land of Perpetual Ice, a major work for Symphonic Wind Band was chosen as the Australian A–Grade National Concert Band Championship Test Piece. He has recently been commissioned to write the B–Grade Concert Band Test Piece for the 2015 ‘Centenary of ANZAC’ Australian National Band Championships.
More recently, Butcher has retrained in the field of Audiology (Hearing Science), graduating with a Masters’ in Audiology Studies from the University of Queensland. He is a fully qualified Audiologist and the Director of his own privately established hearing clinic - Accent Hearing Pty Ltd - in Grafton on the North Coast of NSW. He continues to compose mostly for instrumental works when time permits after running a very busy hearing clinic.
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