Belgian Nationals 2006

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Jan H, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The 2006 Belgian National Brass Band Championships will once again be held in the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, on the last Sunday of November (26th). The championships are organised by Vlamo, the Flemish Amateur Music Organisation, but they are also open to bands from the french-speaking part of the country.

    championship division:

    set test piece: Tristan Encounters (M. Ellerby)
    The same five bands as the last couple of years. As European Champions, Willebroek are already qualified for the 2007 EBBC, so the four other bands are battling it out for the second qualification spot. This should make this year's Belgian Nationals extra exciting. The last couple of years have been a bit dull, because they were completely dominated by Willebroek (since the folding of Midden-Brabant).
    In the past year there have been some interesting player moves, especially the move of two solo cornet players and a tenor horn player from Willebroek to Festival Brass Band (who also have a new conductor, Manu Mellaerts, former conductor of the Vlaams Fanfare Orkest and brass teacher at the Brussels Conservatory), but also Metropole and Buizingen have strengthened their ranks. Kortrijk seems to remain an outsider for the second EBBC spot.

    - Willebroek (Frans Violet)
    - Buizingen (Luc Vertiommen)
    - Metropole (Guy Audenaert)
    - Festival (Manu Mellaerts)
    - Kortrijk (Lieven Maertens)

    first division:

    set test piece: Spectrum (G. Vinter)

    The two bands who battled for the victory last year will be there again. Both bands have choosen challenging own choice pieces. If the Noord-Limburgse Brass Band wins again this year, they will be forced to promote to the championship division next year. But they will be going without their regular conductor, Ivan Meylemans. His baton will be taken over by the young Frans-Aert Burggraaf, conductor of last year's Dutch national champions Soli Brass. A surprise contender in 1st section is the Provincial Brass Band of Liege, from the French-speaking part of the country. The band was founded only last year, and competed in the 2nd section then, although they were disqualified for registration irregularities. But despite the disqualification, it was clear that this was a very good band, at least of 1st section standard. So it seems that this is why they were put in the first section this year. But no official explanation about this was given by the organizers (but you have to know that promotion and relegation rules in Belgium are not as strict and unbendable as in Britain - other strange things have happened in the past...)

    - Noord-Limburgse Brass Band (Frans-Aert Burggraaf)
    - Young Willebroek (Frans Violet)
    - Brass Band Province De Liège (Michel Leveugle)

    second division:

    set test piece: Spectrum (G. Vinter)

    Last year's winners Campine aren't taking part this year, because of some vacancies in the band. Brass Band Leieland relegated from the 1st section last year, because they had to withdraw. They have new condcutor as well, Geert Verschaeve, who also conducts Symphonic Windband "Vooruit" from Harelbeke, winners of last year's World Music Contest in kerkrkade. Brass Band Panta Rhei from Ghent finally sorted out their registration issues, and can now for the first time participate in the Belgian Nationals. The other three contenders are the bands from Zele, Mons and Smeermaas, who are all regular contenders in this section.

    - Brass Band De Grensbewoners (Smeermaas) (Danny Aerden)
    - Brass Band Zele (Bart Van Der Strieckt)
    - Mons St. Georges Brass Band (Thierry Descamps)
    - Brass Band Leieland (Geert Verschaeve)
    - Brass Band Panta Rhei (Paul Voet)

    third division:

    set test piece: Variations on Laudate Dominum (E. Gregson)

    Brass Band Heist were the only contenders in 3rd section last year, but gave a very convincing performance then. Although they were allowed to promote to 2nd section, they decided to stay in the third for another year. If they win this year as well, they will be forced to promote next year. This year, Heist will get some competition though. Brass band Euterpe is a band that every couple of years takes part in the Belgian Nationals or other contests. Last year they gave a fine performance in Kerkrade, but this year they decided to return to the national contest in Brussels. The third contestant is a band that will take part in the nationals for the first time. The band from Retie was formed a couple of years ago, and have been working hard with their conductor Kevin Houben.

    - Brass Band Euterpe (Roland Van Buggenhout)
    - Brass Band Retie (Kevin Houben)
    - Brass Band Heist (Bert Van Thienen)

    Own choice test pieces:

    The contest is with closed adjudication, and the own choice pieces are not made publically known in advance. Nevertheless, the own choice pieces for at least the championship division are a "public secret" (if you're interested, PM me ;) )


    set pieces:

    David Horsfield
    Denis Wilby
    Malcolm Brownbill

    own choice pieces:
    Fred Harles
    Stan Lippeatt
    Jappie Dijkstra
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2006
  2. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The official list of participants has been released, so I updated the above preview
  3. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The Belgian Nationals are well underway by now. If all went well, the set test pieces should be finished by now, and the bands should be starting with their own choice pieces. I think that it's Ok now to reveal some of the own choice pieces ;) (the ones i know)

    Championship section: English Heritage, Concerto Grosso, Harmony Music, Music of the Spheres, ...
    First section: Chivalry, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, ...
    Second section: Paganini Variations, Excalibur, ...
    Third section: ...

    p.s. Willebroek did a joint concert with Black Dyke yesterday in Leuven. Amazing! Watch this space for a short review later today!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  4. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Here are the results for as far as I can remember them (in brackets are the own choice pieces):

    championship division
    1. Willebroek 559/600 (English Heritage, George Lloyd)
    2. Metropole 556/600 (Music of the Spheres, Philip Sparke)
    3. Buizingen 556/600 (Concerto Grosso, Derek Bourgeois)
    4. Festival 551/600 (Harmony Music, Philip Sparke)
    5. Kortrijk 527/600 (Journey into Freedom, Eric Ball)

    First division:
    1. Noord-Limburg 531/600 (Chivalry, Martin Ellerby)
    2. Young Willebroek 529/600 (Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Peter Graham)
    3. Province de Liège 513/600 (Year of the Dragon, Philip Sparke)

    Second division:
    1. Zele 529/600 (Paganini Variations, Philip Wilby)
    2. Leieland 521/600 (Land of the Long White Cloud, Philip Sparke)
    3. Panta Rhei Ghent 510/600 (Prisms, Peter Graham)
    4. De Grensbewoners Smeermaas 498/600 (Excalibur, Jan Van der Roost)
    5. Mons Saint-Georges 488/600 (Music for a Festival, Philip Sparke)

    Third division:
    1. Heist 513/600 (Princethorpe Variations, Kenneth Downie)
    2. Retie 511/600 (Images for Brass, Stephen Bulla)
    3. Euterpe 494/600 (?)

    So another win for Willebroek, although the margin was much narrower then in previous years. The second qualification spot for the Europeans goes a little bit surpisingly to Metropole Brass Band. They ended on equal points with Buizingen, but had more points on the set piece, Tristan Encounters.

    In the first section, the Noord-Limburgse Brass Band retained their title from last year, which means that they will rpomote to the championship section in 2007. This year, the NLBB was conducted by the young (about 22 year old if I'm correct) conductor of Dutch band Soli Brass, Frans-Aert Burghgraef, who brilliantly replaced the band's regular conductor, Ivan Meylemans, with inspiring performances of "Spectrum" and "Chivalry"

    in the Second section, Brass band Zele came with a very bold own choice selection, but they maneged to pull it off, and Paganini Variations gave them the victory.

    Finally in the third section, Brass band Heist and conductor Bert Van Thienen confirmed their debut performance of last year, which means the band will promote to the second section. it was a close call however. The newcomers from Brass band Retie (conducted by European Composers Contest winner Kevin Houben) were only two points out of 600 behind...

    After the contest, adjudicators Malcolm Brownbill (set pieces) and Jappie Dijkstra (own choice pieces) shortly spoke to the audience, as well as Filip Santy, technical director of Vlamo, the Flemish Amateur Band Association. All three of them pointed out that the quality of the Belgian bands has increased dramatically over the last 5 years or so; not only in the championship section, but also in the lower sections... On top of that the number of bands participating in the National championships is steadily increasing as well, the concert hall of the Royal Music Conservatoire was filled for the largest part during the entire day, and even the national media seems to have taken notice of the recent Belgian successes, like the European title for Willebroek and the soloist prize for Bert Van Thienen at the recent National Championships of Great Britain. This time, there even was an item about the national championships on the Flemish national news, and one of the major newspapers planned an extensive article for tomorrow's edition.

    The Belgian Brass Band scene is doing great!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  5. IcklePablo

    IcklePablo Member

    Hey, my congratulations to BB Willebroek. i really enjoyed our joint concert last night. anyway, keep up the good work :)
  6. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Well, congratulations on the concert as well! I enjoyed it a lot!

    (p.s. I heard you kept the people in the hotel awake rather late ;) )
  7. IcklePablo

    IcklePablo Member

    haha, yeh, i think the average bed time was about 5:00 am. it was a good night in leuven though. Their 2nd euphonium, (nick ost) i think took us out haha, we went to this belting salsa bar called machine i think, do u know it?? it was good. lots of belgian girls haha. and then nick went to do the contest today :S wow, it was hard enough for our lot to get to the airport haha. Very enjoyable evening tho. did u enjoy extreme makeover?

    theres a video of abit of hora stacato here.
  8. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know the bar, maybe I should check it out :)
    Some friends of mine were staying in the same hotel as you, and they had to play today as well. Luckily enough, they were on a different floor :D

    Extreme make-Over was great, one of my favourite pieces. But seeing it live adds even more to the experience. Seeing tose poor trombone players getting on with their slides... ;)
  9. IcklePablo

    IcklePablo Member

    it was good, we hope to do it again soon :) one thing u really missed out on though, (with all do respect to willebroeks tuba player) but joseph cook playing czardas, wow, everytime the whole band itself is amazed, his cadenzas are out of this world with multiphonics never heard before. i will try to get a recording for you, it is truly amazing. did you like vienna nights?? i don't like it myself. nice city though where we stayed, im not even sure what its called? haha
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2006
  10. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    It's called Leuven ;)
    mainly a University city with over 25,000 students. and the Stella brewery is only a couple of kilometers from where you stayed ;)
  11. IcklePablo

    IcklePablo Member

    haha, yeh we drove passed that on the way to the airport, the whole band was saluting as we passed. funny. ooo, i think i met afew of the students :) it was good. i think i'll go back on holiday :)
  12. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Just let me know, I'll show you some more bars ;)
  13. IcklePablo

    IcklePablo Member

    cheers man, i will :D
  14. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

  15. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Willebroek press release:

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  16. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The results are on 4BR as well now
    But the report seems to be full of mistakes (once again ;) ) - ranging from typos ("qualificatiopjn") to untrue facts (Willebroek were not the worldchampions in Kerkrade, they were runners-up; festival brass band had 551 points...)

    So people, remember where you read it correctly first ;)

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