Julian Gibbons has conducted the BISYOC orchestra every year since he founded it in 2001. He lives in Basel, where he conducts the Sinfonieorchester Trirhenum which he founded in 2000. This has developed into one of the most innovative and well-respected amateur orchestras in Switzerland. He also works in the neighbouring Black Forest. He has been the conductor of the Verbandsjugendorchester Hochrhein (Symphonic Youth Wind Band of the Upper Rhine Wind Band Association) since 1997. This high-standard youth wind orchestra draws its members from over 100 town bands of the association and tours internationally every two years.
He was born in Bournemouth, England, in 1966, and started playing the French horn at the age of 10. While he was studying history at Durham, he became conductor of the St. John's College Orchestra. In 1989 he moved to Germany, where he studied the horn in Munich. He finished his studies under Professor Xiao-Ming-Han at the Basel Music Conservatory in Switzerland, graduating in 1995. He regularly attended conducting courses run by George Hurst at the Canford Summer School of Music in the UK as well as studying under Emilio Pomarico in Milan at the Scuola Civica di Musica.
As well as his conducting, Julian has been teaching the Horn at the Bad Säckingen Music School (Jugendmusikschule) for over 20 years and has established an International Weekend for Horn Players in the Black Forest in Todtmoos.
Jim worked as composition workshop tutor at BISYOC from 2003 to 2008 and in 2012, returning to assist in 2013. Since November 2013 he has been the Exchange Coordinator. He is currently based in Bucharest, Romania, where he combines teaching, arranging and composing with his BISYOC role. Jim is a bassoonist and multi-instrumentalist, playing among other things saxophone, clarinet, percussion and African instruments. He has a long-standing connection with music education in Kenya, where he first went in 1990 to work as a music teaching volunteer and subsequently returned for long periods including a total of 13 years working in various educational institutions, playing in bands and orchestras, conducting, and eventually taking on the role of Musical Director in the founding team of the country's National Youth Orchestra from 2010 to 2014. He has also worked in the north of England, including 3 years as Fellow in Music at the University of Bradford, in India at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai; for brief periods in other countries including Spain, Turkey, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and with BISYOC in Malta, Austria and Norway. Jim holds an MA in Composition from the University of Huddersfield, UK.
Jean-Paul has been teaching music in the UK at secondary schools for over ten years and has been working as Head of Music at the Blandford School since 2010. He has also helped to run BISYOC events since the event took place in 2012 Malta and has become very familiar with BISYOC - he has even played Banjo in one performance! His other experiences include volunteer sound engineer and deputy event manager at Teddy Rocks festival since 2012 for charity, and he has even completed the Three Peaks Challenge. He has played guitar, bass and vocals in various rock oriented ensembles since leaving school.