Michael Alcorn, Musical Director

hoto Credit: Peter Hellberg

Michael Alcorn took up his position at Downshire in mid-February 2009 and has a long history of involvement in brass bands in Northern Ireland.  Michael Alcorn began playing cornet at the age of eleven and played with the Agnes Street Band from 1977 until 1985.  After Doctoral studies in England he returned to Northern Ireland in 1989 to take up the post of Composer-in-Residence at Queen’s University.  In 1998 he returned to playing and joined the Comber Band where he played Principal Cornet from 1999 - 2002.  

Following his appointment as Composer-in-Residence at Queen’s, he has held positions as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Music. In 2004 he established the world-renowned Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s and was Head of the Schools of Music and Sonic Arts and the School of Creative Arts until January 2016.  He is now Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences  and Professor of Composition at the University.  In addition, part of his research interests are focused on the history of brass banding in Ireland.  www.brassbandsireland.org

Michael has led Downshire Brass through numerous contest successes from the Second Section to the Championship Section where the Band has been consistently in the top places and currently ranked as the leading band in Northern Ireland (4Barsrest).  In addition to the Senior Band, Michael is the Musical Director for Downshire Youth Band and the Downshire 10-piece ensemble.