Gavin Barr was born in Strabane, Co. Tyrone and began his playing career with St. Joseph’s brass band at the age of eight. At eighteen, he successfully auditioned for the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where he studied under the tutelage of Lesley Howie.
Gavin also took part in many college competitions and in 2010 he became one of only two tenor horn players in the college history to reach the final of the prestigious concerto competition. Gavin played principle horn with the RNCM brass band for three consecutive years whilst at college. In 2010 Gavin returned to the RNCM to complete a Masters of Music in Solo Performance after being awarded a scholarship from the college. During this time he also performed with the very successful British Open brass quartet champions Scherzo Brass who become the first group at the RNCM to complete a Masters of Music in Chamber Ensemble.
In his first year at college Gavin joined Pennine Brass where he enjoyed two successful years with the band, starting on 2nd horn and moving up the ranks. In March 2008 Gavin accepted an invitation to audition for the world famous Brighouse and Rastrick band where he held the seat of 1st horn for over three years. During this time with the band Gavin had the opportunity to perform in many of the UK’s major concert venues and travel throughout Europe performing with the band to sell out audiences Gavin has played on many CD recordings with the band.
Outside of college Gavin has achieved many successes. In December 2006 and 2007 he entered himself for the ABRSM diploma exams, passing both exams successfully and he hopes to undertake his Fellowship of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the coming two years. Since returning to Ireland Gavin has enjoyed his time working as a freelance musician, adjudicator and teacher. Gavin currently teaches brass lessons privately and for Carlow College of Music, Music Generation Laois and City of Waterford Band.