On Saturday 8th October, Brass Band Willebroek gave a concert in the famous "Kursaal" hall in Merano Italy. In the past, world famous orchestras like the Royal Phiharmonic Orchestra London, the Russian National Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks already performed in this venue. This time, Willebroek got the honour of playing here, on the occasion of the 4th International Brass Festival of Merano. The trip wasn't without troubles for the band: When they arrived at Charleroi (Brussels South) Airport at 4:30 AM, there was no plane available, due to a national strike the day before. Only with a few hours delay, they managed to get on a flight to Venice and reach their destination. Luckily, there was still a litle time left for a short rehearsal and acoustics test in the magnificent concert hall. When the concert started at 8:30 PM, the hall was filled with 700 enthusiastic listeners. On the program were works of, amongst others, Philip Sparke and Peter Graham. The soloists of the band (Stijn Berbé, Walter Hoeks, Bert Van Thienen, Raf Van Looveren and Stef Pillaert) were also very much appreciated by the audience. Only after a couple of encores, the band was allowed to leave the stage, under an applause that lasted for several minutes. After the concert, conductor Frans Violet was interviewed by several members of the Italian and Swiss music press. [IMGLEFT]http://www.themouthpiece.com/images/newsreporter/willebroek_italy.jpg[/IMGLEFT] After this Italian trip, there are still 2 big targets for Brass Band Willebroek this year. One of them is, of course, the Belgian National Championships on November 27th, when they will try to add a 5th consecutive national title to the band's price-list. But before that, the band would like to invite you all to the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels on November 19th for their already traditional "soloist concert". The band again managed to invite a soloist of world class to join them on stage. This time, no less then flugel player Iwan Williams of YBS Band will come to Brussels to demonstrate the posibilities of his beautiful instrument to the Belgian audience. More about the band and the concert can be found on www.brassbandwillebroek.be Thanks to Bert Van Thienen for the information.