Australia’s first principal of ensemble will be Nat Russell, the pipe major of Victoria Police when it won the 1998 World championships and leading adjudicator in Australia and Scotland.
His appointment follows the decision of Pipe Bands Australia to create an ensemble division within its Australian Pipe Band College, appointing a principal to oversee its establishment and lead education and training in the discipline.
Nat was appointed this week by national management committee following a recent call for expressions of interest from qualified ensemble adjudicators. The interim appointment will be formalised with amendments to the Rules of Pipe Bands Australia and Australian Pipe Band College in 2018.
Since 1985, Nat has been involved with all aspects of ensemble, conducting workshops and seminars in pipe band jurisdictions all around the world. He was the prime mover in introducing Ensemble in Australia in 1992, in Victoria, with the late Alex McCormick.
He is an RSPBA qualified ensemble and internationally accredited adjudicator who has been responsible for mentoring, training and examining through to certification, the majority of current ensemble adjudicators in Australia.
Pipe Bands Australia is delighted to have appointed an applicant with the credentials of Nat (interim) principal ensemble where he will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
Nat will develop programs to advance awareness and understanding of ensemble and review the training and accreditation process for adjudication.
Nat has previously served in senior piping positions within Pipe Bands Australia and is a former national councillor. His services were recently recognised with life membership through the Victorian branch.