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2017 Norwegian National Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2017 Norwegian National Championships — as it happened.

Saturday 4, 22:48:18

That's all folks tonight...

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Well what a way to round off another fine weekend of high class banding in Bergen — with Eikanger returning their title with a performance that will live long in the memory banks of everyone lucky enough to have heard it.

They are the most worthy of champions — and will now head to Utrecht in 2018 as Norwegian champion, although if they play like they did on Saturday night they could well head there as European champion as well. Their performance of 'Fraternity' was of the very rarest musical quality — exquisite brass band playing.

We are off now to see if we can get a free pint or two at the official reception and then it's off to bed — honest!


Saturday 4, 22:14:01

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Full Results

Elite Division:

Adjudicators:
Set Work: Tijmen Botma , Mark Heron , Yngve Slettholm
Own Choice: Dr Michael Ball, Florent Didier, Ivan Meylemans

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Set Work/Own Choice = Total

1. Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby): 95/97 = 96
2. Stavanger Brass (Allan Withington): 95.5/96 = 95.75
3. Manger Musikklag (Peter Sebastian Szilvay): 92/95 = 93.50
4. Bjorsvik Brass (Andreas Hanson): 93/93 = 93.00
5. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Howard Evans): 87/94.5 = 90.75
6. Kleppe Musikklag (Philip Hannevik): 90/91 = 90.50
7. Oslo Brass (Geir Holm): 91/87 = 89.00
8. Molde Brass (Russell Gray): 88/89 = 88.50
9. Krohnengen (Bjorn Breistein): 86/88 = 87.00
10. Oslofjord Brass (Rune Hannisdal): 85/86 = 85.50

Best Soloist: David Morton (cornet) — Eikanger Bjorsvik
Best Section: Tubas (Bjorsvik Brass)


Saturday 4, 22:12:44

Results

First Division:

Adjudicators: Thomas Beiganz , Yngve Slettholm

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1. Tertnes Brass (Martin Winter) — 95
2. Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn (Rune Gundersen) — 94
3. Ila Brass (Adam Cooke) — 93
4. Sola Brass Band (Frederick Theodoloz) — 92.5
5. Askoy Brass Band (Reid Gilje) — 90
6. Hasle Brass (Robert Solberg Nilsen) — 91
7. Tomra Brass Band (Stian E. Svendsen) — 90
=8. Flesland Musikklag (Thor-Arne Pedersen) — 89
=8. Brottum Brass (Ray Farr) — 89
10. Haukas Musikklag (Jan Egil Jorgensen) — 88
11. Tertnes Amatorkorps (Bengt Florvag) — 86
12. Oster Brass (Joseph Cook) — 85


Saturday 4, 22:07:23

Results

Second Division:

Adjudicators: Clare Farr, Thomas Rimul

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1. Radoy Brass (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) — 97
2. Sandefjord Brass Symposium (Jon Terje Svendsen) — 95
3. Sagvag Musikklag (Yngve Nikolaisen) — 94
4. Jolster Musikklag (Arvid Anthun) — 91
5. Agder Brass (Eirik Gjerdevik) — 92
6. Alexander Brass Band (Morten E Hansen) — 91
7. Manger Old Star Brass (Marit Tommermo) — 90
8. Tysnes Musikklag (Yngve Nikolaisen) — 89
=9. Tromso Brass (Geir Davidsen) — 87
=9. Orskog Brass (David Roberts) — 87
11. Trondheim Politis Brassband (Espen Andersen) — 85
12. Lindas Brass (Hilde Brevik Grytten) — 84
13. Folleso Musikklag (Bjorn Breistein) — 83


Saturday 4, 22:03:18

Results

Third Division:

Adjudicators: Thomas Beiganz, Ivan Meylemans

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1. Sorum Musikklag (Henrik Dagestad-Dalhaug) — 97
2. Gjovik Bybrass (Christian Tenfjord) — 95
3. Skui Brassband (Thor-Willy Karlsen) — 94.5
=4. Bjorvika Brass Band (Robert Solberg Nilsen) — 94
=4. Rong Brass (Thor-Arne Pedersen) — 94
6. Laksevag Musikkforening (Helge Haukas) — 93.5
7. Gjesdal Brass Band (Jonas Skartveit Rogne) — 93
8. Bergen Brass Band (Sindre Dalhaug) — 92
9. Valdres Brass (Thorgeir Thunestvedt) — 91
10. Stangaland Brass (Melvin White) — 90
11. Salhaus Musiklag (Bengt Florvag) — 89
12. Tysvaer Brass (Martin Kinn) — 88
13. Flora-Bremanger Brassband (Philip Goodwin) — 87
14. Fjell Brass (Paul Fensom) — 85
15. Langhus Brass (Thomas Swatland) — 84


Saturday 4, 21:58:39

Results

Fourth Division:

Adjudicators: Tijmen Botma, Thomas Rimul

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1. Nes Musikkforening (Thorbjorn Lunde) — 93
2. Fraena Musikkorps (Mareika Gray) — 92
3. Floro Hornmusikk (Torgeir Halvorsen) — 91
4. Indre Torungen Brass Ensemble (Lars Bjornar Strengenes) — 90
5. Stavanger Kommunes Korps (Gwyn Evans) — 88
6. Kjolsdalen Musikklag (Arvid Anthun) — 87
7. Lyshornet Brass (Oyvind Raknes Nikolaisen) — 86
8. Brumunddal Brass (Per Kristian O Syversen) — 85.5
9. Hetlevik Musikklag (Andreas Heier Roe) — 85
10. Holmestrand Ungdomskorps (Svend Erik Andersen) — 84
11. Fla Musikkorps (Odd Steinar Morkved) — 83
12. Frei Hornmusikk (Stein Age Sorlie) — 82.5
13. Lismarka/Mesnali Brass (Anders Harstadhaugen) — 82
14. Lillehammer Brass (Jon Kristian Solberg) — 81
15. IMI Brass (Per-Erik Petersen) — 80


Saturday 4, 20:56:17

Results

Fifth Division:

Adjudicators: Dr Michael Ball, Florent Didier

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1. Krohnengen Old Stars (Oyvind Raknes Nikolaisen) — 96
2. Sotra Brass (Ben Hirons) — 95
3. Moen Musikkforening (Ole Kristian Egge) — 94
4. Filadelfia Hornorkester Drammen (Pal Andre G Worren — 93
5. Rosendal Musikklag (Paul Hughes) — 92
6. Skeie Brass (Nigel Fielding) — 91
7. Saksumdal Musikkforening (Andres Halla) — 90
8. Borge Brass Band (Ken Goran Mikkelsen) — 89
9. Grenland Brass (Kenneth H. Gudmundsen) — 87
10. Alvik Musikklag (Torbjorn Dagestad Jnr) — 85
11. Randaberg Musikkorps (Pal Magne Austernes-Underhaug) — 83
12. Haus Musikklag (Christopher Roedvang) — 82
13. Fjordbrass Lavik (Jason Burn) — 81
14. Lalm Musikkforening (Odd Ivar Svelstad) — 80


Saturday 4, 20:50:39

Final round up and predictions:

For now here are our predictions for today for overall:

Chris Thomas own choice top six

1. Eikanger
2. Manger
3. Stavanger
4. Jaren
5. Oslo
6. Bjorsvik

Overall top six:

1. Eikanger
2. Stavanger
3. Manger
4. Bjorsvik
5. Jaren
6. Oslo

Steven Mead own choice top six

1. Eikanger
2. Manger
3. Stavanger
4. Bjorsvik
5. Jaren
6. Oslo

Overall top six:

1. Eikanger — 192pts
2. Manger — 188pts
3. Stavanger — 187.5pts
4. Bjorsvik — 181pts
5. Jaren — 178.5pts
6. Oslo — 173.5pts

Iwan Fox's own choice top six

1. Eikanger
2. Manger
3. Stavanger
4. Oslo
5. Bjorsvik
6. Jaren

Overall top six:

1. Eikanger
2. Stavanger
3. Manger
4. Bjorsvik
5. Oslo
6. Jaren


Saturday 4, 19:54:03

Elite Division:

10. Kleppe Musikklag (Philip Hannevik)

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The captivating 'moonlight' of the opening of Thomas Doss's piece is shrouded in subdued nocturnal light with the muted textures of the lower band creating a ghostly atmosphere before the demons take hold. And those demons are unleashed in no uncertain fashion as the band clearly feels it has nothing to lose by 'going for it'.

Not all of the quieter detail is clear, particularly in the cornet section, but as the Beethoven theme returns there are fine sounds on display and the MD (conducting without a score as he did on the set test) extracts everything he can from his band.

There's a hint of tiredness that sets in though and this is becoming harder work as the performance progresses, notably in the quieter passages where embouchures are clearly under strain.

From somewhere though the band suddenly finds a new seam of energy as there's a manic, headlong dash for the conclusion and final powerful chords.

Overall: Kleppe puts a strong mark on Thomas Doss's technically demanding score, unleashing a performance of power, although not always matched by playing of subtlety.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 17
Overall understanding*: 17
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 173/200

Comments
A very exciting conclusion to the contest with Thomas Doss's REMscapes .
It was a very spirited performance that the audience clearly enjoyed, for me too many small details missing to warrant a top six place, but we'll see.
It's been a very long day, and perhaps my brain has been dealt by the excessive pounding of dynamics that we've experienced on the Row 1 of the concert hall!

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 19:23:32

Elite Division:

9. Oslo Brass (Geir Holm)

Riffs and Interludes (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)

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A great opening and it's terrific to hear this piece played again.....especially as Oslo seems to embrace the music from the very opening bar.

Great sounds (including a stonking bass trombone) and there's both energy and drive about this as the motoric rhythms are hit head on......propelling the music on to the driving conclusion of the first movement.

The electronic effects of the second movement meld into the sound of the band and the grinding dissonances of the climaxes are huge although as the dynamic subsides there are mis-pitches that are clearly audible. Excellent vibraphone playing colours the textures and the movement ends in solemn quietude.

The final movement flies on sheer adrenaline. It feels a touch unhinged at times but as in the first movement the band is taking no prisoners here. Everything is thrown at it and the ending is grittily powerful. This has been quite an experience as a performance.

Overall: A fine choice of piece that brought something very different to the contest this evening and played with such driving energy and guts.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 17
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 175/200

Comments
Very impressive feeling for the style, and generally, as with yesterday, consistent playing.
For me not enough variety of timbre, and too much predictable loud playing. May do better than I'm expecting though!

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 18:42:51

Elite Division:

8. Stavanger (Allan Withington)

The Turing Test (Simon Dobson)

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The opening is immediately coloured with an intriguing sense of mystery and as the wheels of Turing's machine start to whir the detail through the band is so clear as the atmospheres shifts and the metronomic detail becomes ever more apparent.

There's so much going on that we find ourselves trying to take everything in.....not an easy task...but my goodness is this powerful stuff. There are one or two uncomfortable moments (trombone and soprano) but so much that carries us along.

We reach the slow heart of the piece and there are gloriously glowing sounds from the middle and lower band.....the sense of stillness is so impressive but does it give us the feeling of almost total perfection that pervaded Eikanger's performance of Fraternity? No.........not quite.

Flugel just slips off an exposed top note but the picture remains intact and as the tempo quickens the build up of momentum kicks in creating a mental image of the bewildering array of cogs and wheels that were the basis of Turing's 'Christopher' Machine. My goodness Stavanger have just kicked into an other gear and the ending is simply immense but there have also been mistakes along the way.

Overall: Some stunning technical playing from Stavanger but this hasn't quite lived up to the immense standard the band set on the set test piece.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 19
Quality of soloists: 16
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 184/200

Comments
Stavanger chose a sterner test then they were quite ready for today. Some remarkable playing here of course but Simon Dobson's piece was merciless in its exposure of exposed soloists.
Another day I'm sure they would've nailed it, today there were some points short.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 18:14:15

Elite Division:

7. Krohnengen (Bjorn Breistein)

On the Shoulders of Giants (Peter Graham)

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A bracing opening from Krohnengen that makes a powerful impression but perhaps gets a little too powerful as the cornet section strains in its upper reaches. It's certainly no holds barred stuff although it just needs a little more emphasis on breadth of sound rather than pure volume.

The faster music is not always 100% together but there's bags of drive and energy on display.

Well done flugel in the blues section; so stylishly done. And it's echoed by trombone with a lovely delivery of the slinky blues solo leading to a nice close to the central movement.

The finale movement sets off at quite a tempo......this is surely too quick......it's not allowing time for the detail to be delivered with clarity. Great work from trombones though but it's so difficult for the soloists and bass end to project any detail into the music as the pace quickens yet further.

A fine ending though and there was much to enjoy here.

Overall: A quality opening and there were some fine moments for Krohnengen including solos of class in the central movement, but that flying final movement could count against.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 17
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 173/200

Comments
Outstanding in places, but just robbed of higher marks by small niggling inconsistencies. Very bold sounding band and this piece suits them.
Strength in depth with this team.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 17:48:50

Elite Division:

6. Molde (Russell Gray)

Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

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After a performance like Eikanger's it's perhaps unfortunate for Molde that despite the comfort break they are following the local heroes on stage on the same piece, but Molde's opening is effective and creates a haunting atmosphere.

As it progresses we can sense the players giving it their all and in true Russell Gray fashion the performance grows through its musicality and well thought out approach. It might not display the same level of technical brilliance of Eikanger but it's vivid and visceral stuff that really engages us.

The trombone chorale could be a touch more sonorous perhaps but there is a palpable sense of emotion about this and the climax envelopes us leading to a somewhat tired sounding final flourish.

Overall: A very creditable performance from Molde. Shaped with sensitivity and control from the middle and delivered with emotion if not the same level of technique as the previous performance. It could struggle to stand up against some very tough competition today though.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 14
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 171/200

Comments
It was tough for this band to follow Eikanger with same piece.
It was very impressive in places, the central technical section had such power and energy.
There were difficult solo moments though and these seemed to unsettle the band. But all in all, a very persuasive account musically.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 17:47:30

Halfway Predictions

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You have to say we have been treated to some sumptuous playing — but one performance stood out against the rest — and one you would be lucky to listen to anywhere in the world at any time. Eikanger were incredible. Nothing more to say.

Chris Thomas' halfway top three:

1. Eikanger
2. Manger
3. Jaren

Steven Mead's halfway top three:

1. Eikanger
2. Manger
3. Bjorsvik

Iwan Fox's halfway top three: (tweeting)

1. Eikanger
2. Manger
3. Bjorsvik


Saturday 4, 16:42:29

Elite Division:

5. Eikanger Bjørsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)

Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

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What a fabulous opening, full of subtlety and so haunting in its atmosphere. The monolithic, granite like chords that follow hit home with an impact that raises the hairs on the back of the neck and as the textures clear to leave solo cornet alone David Morten excels. This is so so impressive.

Excellent percussion as the pace quickens and again there is so much clarity and subtlety on display with everything revealed throughout the band from top to bottom. What a stunning passage between solo cornet and trombone. So precise. Sheer brilliance. This is simply getting better and better.

The detail at low dynamic levels is astonishing and this is a performance that is constantly shifting up another gear. Motoric in its energy and driven on in almost ruthless fashion.

The sonorous and gravely affecting trombone chorale is beautifully balanced and the effect is captivating. And now solo cornet sings in heart rending lyricism; this is so beautiful....we can sense the audience holding its collective breath. It's simply magical stuff.

And what an ending; majestic, organ like but above all deeply, deeply emotional.

Overall: A performance of quite remarkable control, scale and depth by Eikanger. Simply very, very special.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 19
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 20
Control of full dynamic range: 20
Ensemble precision: 20
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 20
Balance/clarity of textures: 20
Quality of soloists: 20
Overall understanding*: 20
Total musicality from the band**: 20


Total: 198/200

Comments
Quite simply a superlative performance, one to live in the memory for ever. What poise, technique, composure, led by a brilliant solo cornet. Remarkably brilliant.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 16:15:51

Elite Division:

4. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Howard Evans)

Spiriti (Thomas Doss)

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A fine opening and there's an immediate atmosphere about this, with the effects and little nuances of colour so well done.

And those inflections of colour and texture give way to detail as the pace accelerates and we are plunged into an underworld of demonic detail and ultimately joyous affirmation before the grinding discord that prefaces the eerie stillness that lies at the heart of the piece.

And again the effects are well handled with soprano doing well in what is a taxingly long and exposed solo passage. The rock passage comes off well although soprano slips up just after....a minor slip in the overall scheme of things though.

The approach to the triumph of the conclusion is so impressive as Howard Evans skilfully builds the power and the sound is so well controlled whilst not losing any of the excitement inherent in the music.

Overall: What a fine performance from Jaren. So well thought out and constructed with excellent solo contributions.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 19
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 180/200

Comments
Such a well thought out performance, and the band maintain his balance and discipline throughout.
They raised their own bar today, and should be proud. And now they can enjoy their visit to the other bar!

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 15:43:54

Elite Division:

3. Bjørsvik Brass (Andreas Hanson)

Dances and Arias (Edward Gregson)

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A bold opening masks a few little clips but there's a driving sense of purpose about this. The eerie calm of the music that follows is haunting but solo cornet slips and flugel could balance up a little more.

There is so much of quality about this but there are also niggling slips and one or two skewed entries along the way. Frustrating.

Fine euphonium playing from Tormod Flaten in the slow movement and refined flugel in the trombone processional. This is so finely done.

The dash for home drives on and this is dynamic invigorating stuff but we are still conscious of those little clips. But what a great ending. So much vigour and a triumphant final flourish.

Overall: So many clips and slips along the way for Bjorsvik Brass but a performance that bristled with excitement and energy.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 19

Total: 183/200

Comments
A most enjoyable powerful energetic rendition of Dances and Arias. Small niggles throughout in terms of tiny details, but such a committed performance, outstanding euphonium. Trombones too shine.
The band of 'profs' did a fine job.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 15:21:17

Elite Division:

2. Oslofjord Brass (Rune Hannisdal)

The Torchbearer (Peter Graham)

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The opening is a little unsettled with nervy solo horn and the music doesn't flow as comfortably as it should. As we hit the Allegro the notes need more space...this has the feeling of being scrambled and somewhat panic stricken.

Solo euphonium does well and sings the melodic line with pathos and feeling. Nice touch from solo trombone too and the slow music is sensitively done but again the faster music unravels as the detail and clarity isn't evident.

And as the slow music returns there are frustrating little slips that continue to unsettle the musical picture; such a shame as the MD really tries to shape the lyrical lines with care.

Overall: A performance that went for the lyrical vote but despite some quality solo playing, this never really settled from it's nervy opening.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 14
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 13
Overall understanding*: 16
Total musicality from the band**: 16

Total: 157/200

Comments
A big step up from yesterday.
It's been a tough week for the band with a new stand-in conductor, and they really worked hard on stage today.
Very gutsy and determined performance of Torchbearer.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 14:54:30

Elite Division:

1. Manger Musikklag (Peter Sebastian Szilvay)

Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)

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Peter Szilvay walks onto the stage and launches straight into a blistering opening. Phew this is breathless stuff that hits you right between the eyes. There's so much drive and drama in this and the extremes of quietude and violence are accentuated to the eight degree.

There are a handful of minor incidents along the way (soprano a little clipped perhaps) but as the flugel player rises to her feet the atmosphere is so well done. Just a tiny fluff or two and solo trombone not entirely comfortable. Fine solo baritone and lovely little inflections colour the musical picture. Well done solo euphonium. Magical stuff.

The pacing is masterful as the MD cranks up the tension and the impact shattering. This is high octane stuff and on a different level to Manger's performance yesterday. Again the contrasts are vivid and the ending takes the varnish off the ceiling in the Grieghallen. So powerful.

Overall: Manger needed to deliver something very special after yesterday and they certainly did that although not without a few solo glitches. But wow, what a band sound and the excitement levels were positively stratospheric.

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 20
Control of full dynamic range: 20
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 20

Total: 191/200

Comments
A quite brilliant performance from Manger.
What a magnificent band sound, and such detail, and enormous style. Soloists gave it their utmost, this was a performance of real stature. Beatable, sure, but it will take some doing,

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 14:47:47

Elite Division — Own Choice

Griegsalen (Greig Hall)

Compere: Anne-Grethe Brevik Amland

Adjudicators:

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(L-R) Ivan Meylemans, Michael Ball & Florent Didier

Time On Stage — Band — Local District — Conductor — Test Piece — Composer

1445: Manger Musikklag (Hordaland) (Peter Sebastian Szilvay) — Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)
1515: Oslofjord Brass (Oslo) (Rune Hannisdal) — The Torchbearer (Peter Graham)
1545: Bjørsvik Brass (Hordaland) (Andreas Hanson) — Dances and Arias (Edward Gregson)
1615: Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Oppland) (Howard Evans) — Spiriti (Thomas Doss)
1645: Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag (Hordaland) (Ingar Bergby) — Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

1715: Pause

1745: Molde Brass Band (Møre og Romsdal) (Russell Gray) — Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)
1815: Krohnengen Brass Band (Hordaland) (Bjørn Breistein) — On the Shoulders of Giants (Peter Graham)
1845: Stavanger Brass Band (Rogaland) (Allan Withington) — The Turing Test (Simon Dobson)
1915: Oslo Brass Band (Oslo) (Geir Holm) — Riffs and Interludes (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
1945: Kleppe Musikklag (Hordaland) (Philip Hannevik) — REM-Scapes (Thomas Doss)

(Time = Local Time)

Live Comments

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Chris Thomas / Steven Mead

Editor: Iwan Fox
Site Support: John James


Saturday 4, 14:45:32

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First Division Press Corps round up

The views of the press corps will appear here as soon as the video is upload.

In the meantime our top six predictions are as follows:

Chris Thomas:

1. Ila
2. Hasle
3. Sola
4. Tertnes
5. Askoy
6. Tomra

Steven Mead:

1. Ila
2. Sola
3. Tertnes
4. Hasle
5. Askoy
6. Gjallahorn

Iwan Fox: (tweets)

1. Ila
2. Hasle
3. Tertnes
4. Askoy
5. Sola
6. Gjallahorn


Saturday 4, 14:02:00

First Section:

12. Ila Brass (Adam Cooke)

Hypercube (Oliver Waespi)

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There's a gritty edge to the bluesy chords of the opening that is immediately arresting....and matched by granite like blocks of band sound.

The contrasts are so well found as the volume subsides and the band is really using the dynamics contrasts of the score so well. What great music this is.....and so different to 'As if a voice were in them' that we heard earlier today.

Woweee this is motoring and Adam Cooke is in total control. So impressive. The detail is always evident and the technical challenges are overcome with confidence whilst the sonorous warmth of the sound washes over us. And what an ending!! Top drawer stuff indeed!

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 20

Total: 186/200

Comments
What a stunning end to this morning's contest. Outstanding playing from Ila. They gave it absolutely everything, and it came off. Bravo tutti!

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 13:32:48

First Section:

11. Brøttum Brass (Ray Farr)

Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)

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A fluidly moving opening and there are fine contrasts evident. It tends a little to the aggressive side at times perhaps but the shape of the music is always evident although there are also frustrating lapses along the way.

The slower passages are effective as Ray Farr draws playing of musical sensitivity from his players. As the performance reaches its conclusion the pacing is effective leading to a majestic conclusion.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 14
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 14
Tuning/intonation: 14
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 14
Quality of soloists: 12
Overall understanding*: 14
Total musicality from the band**: 15

Total: 143/200

Comments
Once again Gregson's Distant Images tests this band to the full.

Some sublime moments of course, and well shaped by Ray Farr, but just too many solo moments went down.

Glorious full band sound, but needed a touch more detail in the technical sections.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 13:03:42

First Section:

10. Tomra Brass Band (Stian E Svendsen)

Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

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Thierry Deleruyelle's 2016 European Championship test piece is such a descriptive work...and Tomra hit it full on with playing of red blooded power and aggression...perhaps a little too much so at times.

Some haunting atmospheres created in the slow movement though including a sonorous trombone chorale before solo cornet just struggles to project the vital melody line.

There's real passion and emotion in the climactic passages though and the MD reads the pictures so well even though the execution is not always spot on.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 14
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 11
Overall understanding*: 17
Total musicality from the band**: 16

Total: 156/200

Comments
What a masterpiece of the composition this is.
Some exciting dramatic playing, but also some nervy moments especially in solo cornet .
Brave effort by all and they told us this dramatic story well.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 12:52:22

...and now for something completely different

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We will shortly be covering the Elite Section. One of the adjudicators for this contest will be Ivan Meylemans.

However did you know that on 29 April 2012 a "Queen's Night" concert featuring Fink an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and DJ together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was conducted by Ivan Meylemans.

This excellent concert can be heard on the live album of the concert 'Fink Meets The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra' available on both Apple Music and Spotify.

His diversity and supreme conducting skills can be heard and fully appreciated and are certainly at their best on the tracks 'The Infernal Machine', 'The Unanswered Question'.and 'Sort of Revolution'.

The orchestra commissioned a special iPad application for the event, on which worldwide viewers could stream audio and video footage of the concert live, in real time and it was the first time such an application had been used for this purpose in the Netherlands.


Saturday 4, 12:34:06

First Division:

9. Haukås Musikklag (Jan Egil Jørgensen)

Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

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Warm sounds and the performance commences with purpose although there are also slips along the way.......with ensemble not always being consistent.

Occasionally the musical picture is disturbed although musically the band tries admirably to capture the magic and get down to the lower level dynamics. And the energy of the playing continues to build as it moves towards a peaceful conclusion.

Not everything came off today but it was a fine effort from another young band.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 14
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 15
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 15
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 15
Quality of soloists: 12
Overall understanding*: 16
Total musicality from the band**: 15

Total: 149/200

Comments
Some lovely gentle sounds, and a final effort by the band, but just too fragile in some key moments.
The overall picture was beautiful, but slightly frayed around the edges.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 12:06:14

First Division:

8. Flesland Musikklag (Thor-Arne Pedersen)

Time Machine (Thomas Doss)

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One of the fabulous things about this contest is the sheer number of young players around the stands — and Flesland is crammed full of so many talented youngsters playing their hearts out.

It really is fabulous to see......and hear. The piece isn't Thomas Doss at his best but don't these players throw everything at the music.

It's not always consistent in its execution, but this has been a performance full of drama and drive.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 14
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 15
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 13
Tuning/intonation: 15
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 14
Overall understanding*: 16
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 151/200

Comments
Total commitment from this outstanding young band. You felt their passion and energy as they to rose to meet this tough challenge from Thomas Doss.
Sure, the band was stretched at times, but in all this was a very joyous experience

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 11:37:20

First Division:

7. Oster Brass (Joseph Cook)

Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)

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Opens with warm sounds and this is the first of two performances of Of Distant Memories we will hear in the second half of the 1st Division draw.

As it progresses there are individual slips that just threaten to disturb the musical picture, but as has been the case with all of the bands today the commitment of the playing is beyond question.

The slower music in particular causes problems however as tension surfaces, and it's a tired sounding close as the serious demands the score makes of stamina takes its toll.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 12
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 13
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 14
Tuning/intonation: 14
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 14
Quality of soloists: 13
Overall understanding*: 15
Total musicality from the band**: 14

Total: 139/200

Comments
What a great piece of music, and what tough tests it contains. The band excelled in many places, but the exposed solo lines just had hurdles too tall. A brave effort, but I fear it'll struggle today.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 11:17:31

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First Division: Halfway predictions:

Well it's certainly been interesting, enjoyable and of a very good quality — but this is what the 4BR experts go for at the halfway stage.

Chris Thomas:

1. Hasle
2. Sola
3. Tertnes

Steven Mead:

1. Sola
2. Tertnes
3. Hasle

Iwan Fox: (who is tweeting)

1. Hasle
2. Tertnes
3. Sola


Saturday 4, 10:45:15

First Division:

6. Sola Brass Band (Frédéric Théodoloz)

Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

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A fine opening and there is immediately a sense of musical presence about the performance. It's a well chosen piece that falls within the comfort zone of the band and we hear technically secure playing and well balanced sounds.

This an engaging performance and the dynamics are used so well. It's high on the excitement factor too, and the clarity of detail is consistent throughout. It all culminates in a conclusion of stillness. A show of real quality.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 184/200

Comments
That was a real performance from beginning to end. Assured, so musical, with beautiful quiet controlled playing. Really outstanding music making.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 10:24:56

First Division:

5. Musikkorpset Gjallahorn (Rune Gunderson)

Isaiah 40 (Robert Redhead)

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After the slight caution of the opening the band settles and we hear a big, bold band sound. There are fleeting moments of insecurity that don't disrupt the musical picture, but there is also a passion and commitment to the music that communicates itself very clearly.

Solo cornet not entirely comfortable but it's followed by a stylish solo euphonium.

The band opens up in the final section and it's a majestic conclusion. A quality performance well directed from the middle.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 15
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 14
Overall understanding*: 17
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 162/200

Comments
Another full sounding band, with real moments of magic, but also some solo frailties and small tonal moments that needed more quality. A full blooded performance, and directed with great passion.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 09:59:03

First Division:

4. Hasle Brass (Robert Solberg Nilsen)

...Dove Descending (Philip Wilby)

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What fine opening antiphonal fanfares. Tight and in tune. There's also a big band sound and the detail is generally taut as the opening movement progresses to a thrilling close.

Solo euphonium rises to his feet in the slow movement to play the immensely demanding solo from memory. Bravo! The melody and slow music that follows is meltingly played...just the odd hesitation but the flow remains unbroken.

Cornets rise to their fee again and the close is a blaze of sound.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 16
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 173/200

Comments
Very strong and mature sounding band with some excellent playing here fantastic presentation and just about everything comes off. Just the occasional technical weakness revealed, but so great to hear this piece again.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 09:39:52

...not to be missed

Up-coming action (local time)

0950: Hasle Brass: (Robert Solberg Nilsen) — … Dove Descending (Philip Wilby)
1020: Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn: (Rune Gundersen) — Isaiah 40 (Robert Redhead)
1045: Sola Brass Band: (Frederic Theodoloz) — Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

1115: Pause

1135: Oster Brass: (Joseph Cook) — Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)
1205: Flesland Musikklag: (Thor-Arne Pedersen) — Time Machine (Thomas Doss)
1230: Haukas Musikklag: (Jan Egil Jorgensen) — Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)
1300: Tomra Brass Band: (Stian E. Svendsen) — Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)
1325: Brottum Brass: (Ray Farr) Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)
1355: Ila Brass Band: (Adam Cooke) — Hypercube (Oliver Waespi)


Saturday 4, 09:28:43

First Division:

3. Tertnes Amatørkorps (Bengt Flovåg)

Montage (Peter Graham)

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Three lonely tubas await to be played by their owners

Good to hear Peter Graham's Lutoslawski inspired creation and it's a solid opening.
Some of the technical demands do take their toll in the first movement and there are passages that don't quite sit tightly but there is again a sense of purpose about this.

As the solo entries are passed around the band in the central movement the music needs to flow more freely and the opening of the final movement exposes several of the traps that are inherent in the score.

Again though there is so much drive evident but Montage is a piece that has placed considerable demands on the band.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 13
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 14
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 13
Tuning/intonation: 14
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 15
Quality of soloists: 14
Overall understanding*: 15
Total musicality from the band**: 14

Total: 142/200

Comments
A reminder of what a tough piece Montage is.
Laced with the most intricate rhythms and huge ensemble challenges. They gave it their best shot, some real bravery here, but in the end ..Montage was the victor !

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 08:59:03

First Division:

2. Askøy Brass Band (Reid Gilje)

As if a voice were in them (Oliver Waespi)

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Great atmospheres to open and there's a real sense of purpose about the performance as it drives on.

Fine work from the trombones in the trio and this is engaging music making; brimming with energy and commitment from the players and directed with understated authority by Reid Gilje.

Just a few hints of strain in the slow music and at times the technical demands of the piece pushed the band to the limits but so much drama evident.

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 15
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 16
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 165/200

Comments
What a gem of a test piece from Oliver Waespi, quite brilliant. Would love to hear this at the British Open!
The band did a really fine job, just a touch overstretched at certain moments, but a performance of real merit.
Fantastic quality in this first section already..

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 08:53:07

First Division:

1. Tertnes Brass (Martin Winter)

Harmony Music (Philip Sparke)

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Nothing like at 08.30am performance of Harmony Music to blow the cobwebs away! And this did just that.

A performance of huge spirit and drive laced with fine solo contributions from solo euphonium.

There were a few moments of untidy ensemble along the way and not all of the soloists were entirely uniform but so much to enjoy here in the energy and vigour of the performance with a man in the middle that knows the score inside out.

A great start to the day!

Chris Thomas

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 17
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 180/200

Comments
What a great start to the day, with a blistering Harmony Music. Expertly lead, brilliantly played, only the slightest frailties at the exposed places.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Saturday 4, 08:52:29

Powerhouse Selection

The First Section band have certain chosen a powerhouse selection of works for their performances today.

The adjudicators will have to judge the following masterworks:

Harmony Music (Philip Sparke)
As if a voice were in them (Oliver Waespi)
Montage (Peter Graham)
… Dove Descending (Philip Wilby)
Isaiah 40 (Robert Redhead)
Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)
Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)
Time Machine (Thomas Doss)
Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)
Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)
Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)
Hypercube (Oliver Waespi)


Saturday 4, 08:39:00

Meet The Adudicators

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Thomas Beiganz studied trumpet at the Anton Bruckner-University in Linz and University of Music in Vienna.
He was the founder of the Brass Band Upper Austria where he has played solo horn and flugelhorn in a number of years and is also principal of the music school in Eferding in the region of Upper Austria.

He regularly judges various types of competitions in Norway and abroad and from 2013 he has been Austria's delegate with the European Brass Band Association (EBBA).

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Yngve Slettholm took his diploma with the Norwegian Academy of Music in 1980 and began his composing career in contemporary music. In the period 1982–1986 he was the President of the national organisation Ny Musikk (Norwegian section of the ISCM).

He studied under Morton Feldman (1986–88) in the USA while he worked towards his doctorate and his doctoral work was submitted at the State University of New York.

Yngve Slettholm has won many prizes for his work, as well as many study and work grants. He has a truly comprehensive teaching and instructional background and has had many works published for both choirs and brass bands of the Salvation Army.


Saturday 4, 07:33:22

Persuasion

All the talk as the Elite Division action was digested at various watering holes around Bergen late last night was about which performance from either Stavanger or Eikanger people thought would find favour with the judges.

These in either camp put up persuasive arguments on what were two very different technical, as well as musical approaches. They really couldn't have been more opposite sides of the same coins.

Stavanger was a much lighter, dance-like approach; operatic in nature but played out in such forensic detail and dynamic variance, especially with the accent on the different timbres and textures of the score.

Eikanger on the other hand was much more holistic; board swathes of elongated phrasing and sweeping drama; bigger, bolder and more intense. The dynamics were not as pronounced although the detail still shone through.

Even the two MDs were cut from a different jib: Withington all neat, angular direction as crisp and razor sharp as his suit. Bergby cut a more flamboyant, Bohemian figure — long, arcing movements and passionate gestures all wrapped up in a shirt that seemed to have been a stranger to an ironing board.

Both were brilliant and fascinating to see in action (as were others — notably the mesmeric Peter Szilvay and the urbane Andreas Hanson — conducting musketeers both)

What will the judges like?

The jury is literally out — but you suspect that there is only a sheet of Norwegian Bronco paper between them (if they have have anything like that out here) — so don't be surprised if what the Press Corps thought with Stavanger ahead of Eikanger is completely wrong.

Lots of people thought that in Bergen bars last night for sure...


Saturday 4, 07:11:29

Good morning from Bergen

It's morning in Bergen with only those having an early flight home from Flesland airport up and around the hotel nabbing something to eat from the buffet before they embark on their travels.

They should stay around for a day, as it promises to be a great climax to what has already been a very fine contest.

It's the First Division and the Elite Division in the main Grieghallen today with the delights of the Fifth Division in the Peer Gynt Hall.

However, there are two little boiled eggs waiting to have their heads bashed in at the moment so the 4BR Editor will be back with more after he has dunked his soldiers...


Friday 3, 21:35:49

That's it until tomorrow

That's the action completed here until tomorrow when we have an early start at 8.30am for the First Section followed by the Elite Division and all those blockbusters.

We have done a little video round up which gets the opinions of the Press Corps — Steven Mead, Chris Thomas, Kenny Crookston and 4BR Editor Iwan Fox.


Friday 3, 20:38:56

...and at the End of the Day

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Chris Thomas's Set Test round up and prediction:

What a fine test piece Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett has proved to be here in the Grieghallen.

The leading performance for us found a refinement and elegance that really captured our imagination and admiration.

There have been a number of widely varying approaches however including our second placed band in a performance that emerged as a technical tour de force.

It all points to a fascinating day in prospect on the own choice tomorrow.

Chris Thomas goes for a top six of:

1. Stavanger
2. Eikanger-Bjørsvik
3. Bjørsvik Brass
4. Manger Musikklag
5. Jaren
6. Oslo Brass Band

Steven Mead's Prediction:

Taking into account Steve's marking system — he has a top six of:

1. Stavanger
2. Eikanger
3. Manger
4. Bjørsvik
5. Jaren
6. Molde

4BR Editor Iwan Fox's set work prediction (from his tweets)

1. Stavanger
2. Eikanger
3. Bjørsvik
4. Manger
5. Molde
6. Oslo


Friday 3, 20:31:36

10. Oslo Brass (Geir Holm)

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10. Oslo Brass Band (Geir Holm)

The opening could be a little more delicate but it's generally secure and progresses well into Bram Tovey's Danse des Amis.

As we progress through the first variation, on many levels this is impressive playing. There are no major slips of note and the MD clearly tries to navigate a musical course through the score, which is generally well achieved.

The central Scherzettino proves more challenging as those nasty dovetailing figures prove difficult to knit together once again and as we head into Howarth's Collage the initial impetus seems to have been lost with the tempo slow and the performance as a whole floundering somewhat.

The Birthday Fugue does regain the lost momentum to some degree although the performance as a whole feels somewhat disjointed now as it progresses towards a somewhat laboured conclusion.

Overall: In parts this was a fine performance from Oslo but also one that never fully regained its initial promise after the difficulties of the Scherzettino took their toll.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 17
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 172/200

Comments
Some very consistent playing to round off the day. Lacking some poise and elegance, and at times quite overblown, but really still enjoyable. Real pianissimo hard to find, again.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 20:04:24

9. Kleppe Musikklag (Philip Hannevik)

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The introduction doesn't quite sit comfortably and there are one or two nervy entries evident as we progress into the first variation.

We sense the player's striding to find the stylistic elements of the score...admirably so...although this is sometimes hold back by the execution, as is evident in both the Tovey and Gregson variations.

The Scherzettino is a step too far for the band and there is a sense of the performance unravelling here as the various tricky entries fail to knit together whilst the notes themselves are all too often rushed and indistinct.

Howarth's Collage never really settles into a zone of comfort and the distinctly fluctuating atmospheres of the music are not captured as a result.

The band throws everything at the final Birthday Fugue but sadly the damage is already done as once again the detail and technical elements of the music prove too stern a challenge for the players.

Overall: A brave attempt at a piece that ultimately overcame the band today.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 14
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 15
Control of full dynamic range: 14
Ensemble precision: 15
Tuning/intonation: 15
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 14
Quality of soloists: 16
Overall understanding*: 16
Total musicality from the band**: 16

Total: 150/200

Comments
Kleppe making their debut in the Elite Division, give it their best shot. Some of it is overblown, some of it is understandably lacking in confidence, and all in all not too bad, and there's always tomorrow!

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 19:33:53

8. Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)

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The opening is secure but surely more mp than pp. The tempo is also on the quick side and it loses a touch of courtly elegance as a result. There's no shortage of confidence here though. It positively oozes it but the approach is bigger and bolder than many today.

Danse des Amis is again strong dynamically. In a different piece this might convince but this is music that calls for so much delicacy and control. Yet there are passages of sheer brilliance also as the band takes the technical elements of the music in its stride.

Michael Ball's Scherzettino is again generally solid and secure at the expense of taking risks with the lower dynamics yet the dovetailing of the parts is executed with impressive precision.

Elgar Howarth's Collage is a touch slower than some today and again this is a performance that is putting a different slant on the score. And there are also colours and atmospheres that engage us even there remain a few reservations.

Not surprisingly the final Birthday Fugue is big, bold and muscular and wow does it hit us between the eyes. This is full on stuff and packs an exciting punch. But is it a case of excitement over musical substance?

Overall: Eikanger have given us a very different reading of the score, treating it as a technical exercise in many ways. In its way it was hugely impressive but perhaps not the most elegant reading of the day.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 19
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 19

Total: 186/200

Comments

Impressive powerful Eikanger, but not a reading I cared for. A great band, made to do things out of its comfort zone and with moments definitely not in the score, and the extreme power at the end lost the whole ethos of the elegant music. Still, a truly great band!

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 18:59:37

7. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Howard Evans)

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A good secure opening and there is a style about this that finds the courtly elegance of the theme. Just a couple of little clips but nothing that overly disturbs the balance of the music.

Danse des Amis is controlled and finely shaped. There are one or two minor incidents along the way but the approach is always so musical and dynamically controlled.

Edward Gregson's Midsummer Song is again despatched with style. It just loses its way a little in the closing bars as one or two gremlins surface but overall, this is a performance that is gathering further stature as it progresses.

We hear some good detail and accuracy in the tricky Scherzettino and whilst there are bars that don't dovetail perfectly the playing never loses its composure.

The atmosphere of Elgar Howarth's Collage is very well done indeed and we hear that pathos and at times dark austerity that is so important to this variation.

The Birthday Fugue is bold and exciting. It just occasionally loses the accuracy that the playing exhibited earlier in the performance but this has been such an enjoyable show. The ending is perhaps a touch overdone as the band lets its hair down but it remains impressive stuff.

Overall: A quality show from Howard Evans and his team. A thoughtfully constructed reading and executed in the main with impressive accuracy.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 177/200

Comments

A distinguished performance of class from Jaren. So well shaped and directed, just a few but noticeable clips throughout took off the gloss. A pleasure to listen to.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 18:33:15

6. Stavanger (Allan Withington)

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What a fine opening. Elegant and so refined. Dynamic is perfect and great playing from soprano. This is so well done.

Bram Tovey's first variation is so controlled. Superb use of dynamic contrast but nothing is overblown. There's an ease about the playing that illustrates a band that is relaxed and comfortable with what is a challenging set piece.

Edward Gregson's variation is oh so stylish. So much clarity but it's the style and transparency that really captures our imagination. What a glorious close to the variation too...the swelling sounds are just wonderfully evocative.

At last a Scherzottino that really knits together. The dovetailing is so effective when it's heard like this...so now we know that it can be done! Bravo!

Howarth's Collage is an island full of noises. Distant, haunted fanfares and darkly hued pathos and emotion that captures a completely different sound world to anything else we have heard so far today. So effective and so affecting.

Fine dynamic to open Wilby's Birthday Fugue and this is so controlled with so much layering of the sounds and colours that we haven't heard until now. And it culminates in an ending of fabulous majesty.

Overall: Wowee! What a performance from Stavanger. So secure and it just sweeps us along on its wave of energy and abundant detail. Simply fabulous stuff.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 19
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding*: 20
Total musicality from the band**: 19

Total: 190/200

Comments

What a truly fantastic performance, guided by someone who absolutely gets the style. Bravo Mr Withington, and your marvellous band, outstanding .

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 18:06:34

Half-Way Analysis

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Steven, Chris and Iwan — The 4br Team in Norway

Chris Thomas:

Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett has caused the bands some real problems this afternoon with no band really finding the extreme accuracy called for in the central Scherzettino.

There are two bands that are comfortably ahead of the field for us with our leader so far delivering playing that although not flawless, brimmed over with style, character and some lovely touches of colour and class.

No band has sealed the first leg so far however and the second half could prove very interesting with Stavanger and Eikanger still to play.

Top three so far

1. Bjørsvik Brass
2. Manger Musikklag
3. Molde Brass Band

Steven Mead:

Very enjoyable first half, and at the top it's a toss up between a slightly flawed but beautiful performance by Manger and a highly charged performance by BjørsvikBrass. I have Manger just ahead of Bjørsvik, then Molde.

1. Manger Musikklag
2. Bjørsvik
3. Molde

Iwan Fox (who has been tweeting)

1. Bjørsvik
2. Manger
3. Molde


Friday 3, 17:31:07

5. Bjorsvik Brass (Andreas Hanson)

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The first note goes astray (not for the first time today) but once settled, this is stylish stuff indeed. A well judged tempo and Bram Tovey's first variation opens in convincing fashion. Andreas Hansen is such a pleasure to watch as a conductor; understated but in expressive control at all times.

Such lovely sounds in the Gregson and although the quieter dynamics are a tad on the safe side the playing has fine character. This really is one to enjoy.

Not all of the detail comes off in the Scherzettino but when it does it's immediately clear and with players of the quality of Tormod Flaten on euphonium and Frode Rydland on soprano there are some fabulous little touches along the way.

Howarth's Collage has real pathos...perhaps more so than we have heard so far today and allied with a distant, dreamy austerity that has the ability to transport the listener.

Some of the detail is not always clear in the Birthday Fugue and perhaps it's a little too muscular at times but wow what an ending. Impressive stuff indeed.

Overall: A performance of real quality from Bjorsvik Brass. Brimming with character and so much musical style about it to admire.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 16
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 19

Total: 179/200

Comments

A performance of great skill and no little excitement. Was waiting for more soft dynamics in the exposed sections, but they never came. However, this was still a highly enjoyable performance. Some truly great musical personalities around the stand.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 17:01:06

4. Molde (Russell Gray)

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Good opening with just the slightest of slips and a steady, courtly tempo.

Bramwell Tovey's Danse des Amis has good movement and the dynamics are used to telling effect. Again it's not flawless but there is an atmosphere about this that is so enjoyable.

Gregson's Midsummer Song is possibly a little on the quick side but Russell Gray brings his musical qualities to the fore here and again the style is good as we hear the character in the music if not an entirely flawless execution.

Just a couple of bars into the Scherzettino and again those problems of knitting this movement together are exposed once again individual entries do not always sit comfortably in the over all picture. There's a feeling developing that the band that nails this awkward central variation could well win the first leg of the contest here.

Good dynamics in Howarth's Collage although this is meandering a little now....as if the previous variation has knocked the players commitment to a degree.

The Birthday Fugue opens well though and the confidence returns. It's a touch over done at times and we'd like a little more sharp edges precision in the detail but it's a solid conclusion to a generally solid performance.

Overall: Some fine playing from Molde, particularly in the introduction and first two Variations.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding*: 18
Total musicality from the band**: 18

Total: 173/200

Comments

Very spirited performance with some wonderful deft musical touches, not everything came off in the exposed sections, but a truly well wrought performance.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 16:31:32

3. Manger Musikklag (Peter Sebastian Szilvay)

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A graceful, courtly opening and this has a style about that we haven't heard so far.......just the slightest of uncomfortable moments on soprano but there 's a real sense of purpose about this as we enter Bram Tovey's first variation.

Again the style is so well created and the surges of sound in the crescendo's and diminuendo' s are hugely impressive although there's just a danger that the sound is a touch forced at times.

Gregson's Midsummer Song is beautifully done and so well observed in its atmosphere but Michael Ball's Scherzettino is again shown to be a real problem as the dovetailed entries are not always tight and clips and untidy entries are exposed in ruthless fashion.......this really is a section in which there is no hiding.

Elgar Howarth's Collage is imbued with such a lovely atmosphere. So much sensitivity and empathy with the emotion of Howarth's writing and the closing bars are beautifully done. So touching.

Wilby's Birthday Fugue sees the band in full throttle and this is now really motoring. Fine detail as we approach the conclusion and what an ending. Unbridled power but so controlled.

Overall: So stylistically aware and some fabulous moments but there were also passages that got the better of Manger today.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding*: 19
Total musicality from the band**: 19

Total: 185/200

Comments

Not perfect by any means, some uncharacteristic lapses. Got better as it went on, and stunning close. The pianissimo control also very impressive.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 16:08:17

Meet The Adjudicators

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Yngve Slettholm trained as a teacher at the Norwegian Academy of Music and has both a Diploma in composition from the Norwegian Academy and a doctorate (PhD) in composition. He was a Music College, Associate Professor of Composition.

He is composer and has had many positions of trust in the Norwegian music and culture life. He was appointed State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Church in the Bondevik II Government and has since 2006 been the Managing Director of Kopinor. In 2012 he was head of the Arts Council.

Yngve Slettholm has had a lifelong involvement in the Salvation Army and he has arranged and composed a number of works for both brass and concert lineup.

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Tijmen Botma has studied trumpet and conducting at the Conservatory in Zolle, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam.

In the period 2007-2013 he was Chief Conductor of the Botma Band of the Netherlands Mounted Regiments in Vught (Royal Netherlands Army) and since 2013 Music Director for "Johan Willem Friso", one of the military marching bands in the Netherlands.

Tijmen Botma teaches conducting at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen.
He has won national awards with the different Corps and has made numerous recordings for radio and on CD.
He has often worked as a judge in Norway and abroad and recently he has contributed to the release of a music textbook published by De Haske

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Mark Heron is Scottish conductor and has worked with the BBC Philharmonic, PLPO, RSNO, Manchester Camerata, Psappha, the Meininger Hofkapelle, Pori Sinfonietta and St Petersburg Festival Orchestra.

He is Music Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra Nottingham and teacher of conducting at the RNCM.
He has collaborated with the many composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Heiner Goebbels, Magnus Lindberg, Sir James McMillan, Mark Anthony Turnage, Giya Kancheli, Unsuk Chin, Kalevi Aho, Detlev Glanert, Christopher Rouse, Bernard Rands and Tansy Davies.

He has made recordings with the RNCM Wind Orchestra and has an international reputation as a teacher of conducting.


Friday 3, 16:06:25

2. Oslofjord Brass (Rune Hannisdal)

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A nightmare opening as the first note is skewed and there are so many clips and mis-pitches that unsettle the opening bars.

Bram Tovey's first variation initially settles but the tempo rocks and the style is never really evident. There are also issues of tuning that intervene.

Tuning is again an issue in Gregson's Midsummer Song and Michael Ball's Scherzettino is a cascade of slips and plainly wrong notes. Unfortunately this is going from bad to worse for the band.

Howarth's Collage is beset by errors once again with stray entries and at times chronic tuning problems never allowing what is a quintessentially personal and delicate soundscape to settle.

Philip Wilby's Birthday Fugue seems to pass us by in a blur as raw power is used as a substitute for clarity and transparency. Such a shame for the band as we could sense the player's frustration.

Overall: Probably a day the players would prefer to forget on a piece that was sadly beyond the band's technical ability.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 12
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 13
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 14
Tuning/intonation: 14
Band sound quality: 14
Balance/clarity of textures: 14
Quality of soloists: 13
Overall understanding*: 14
Total musicality from the band**: 15

Total: 138/200

Comments

A tough day at the office. Some fine strong moments, but just too many technical things not lining up today. Searching for grace and charm and period elegance.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 15:37:37

1. Krohnengen (Bjorn Breistein)

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A couple of tiny slips mar the opening bars and we progress into Bram Tovey's first variation it's just a little untidy in places. Style is good though with dynamics a touch on the heavy side perhaps.

There are some lovely touches of colour in the Gregson although it doesn't always trip along as comfortably as it could.

Michael Ball's very tricky Scherzettino is really going to cause the bands some problems today we suspect and that proves to be the case here as the nasty little dovetailed entries don't quite knit together, especially in the cornet section. This really is very tricky to pull off indeed.

There's a lovely atmosphere created in Elgar Howarth's Collage and the band use the quieter dynamics to its advantage here.

Bold opening to the Wilby fugal finale but again this really has to knit together so tightly and that is not always the case here. It's such committed playing though and the band is really giving it's all. There is so much opportunity to create colour in the reprise of the main theme but the detail does get in the way at times. The approach to the final bars is certainly powerful but surely too much so.

Overall: Committed playing from Krohnengen but this was a performance that illustrates just how tough this piece is to pull off. There were times when we could sense the players anxiety.

Chris Thomas

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Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 15
Quality of soloists: 17
Overall understanding*: 15
Total musicality from the band**: 17

Total: 159/200

Comments

Overall a strong showing, especially the first couple of moments. General lack of delicacy, and overblown playing towards the end lost the style.

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 15:37:01

Chris Thomas's Elite Section Introduction

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What a fascinating afternoon we have in store!

Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett is perhaps not the gargantuan technical test that we have seen in Bergen on other occasions but rather a piece that calls for finesse, accuracy and nerves of steel in the exposed nature of much of the writing.

Stylistically however this is also going to produce some interesting stylistic variables as Tovey, Gregson, Ball, Howarth and Wilby give there own unique take on Michael Tippett's delicate little theme from the opera The Midsummer Marriage.

And with the quality of performance we have come to expect here, along with some great conductors to enjoy, it's going to be a great evening of music making.


Friday 3, 15:29:55

Greetings from Bergen — Steven Mead

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I'm delighted to be here listening to the bands and giving my comments to you via 4barsrest.

I'll be concentrating mainly on the first section, (Saturday morning), and both rounds of the championship division, starting this afternoon (Friday) at 3:30 PM Norwegian time (2.30pm UK)

Once again I'll be using my 200 point criteria based system which you can see outlined on this site. I hope provides a clear transparent presentation for bands and listeners alike.

Follow us here for all the action during the weekend.

Many thanks once again to Besson/Buffet Crampon for supporting my activities here.

Criteria Mark Sheet

Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: out of 20
Rhythmic precision and clarity: out of 20
Control of full dynamic range: out of 20
Ensemble precision: out of 20
Tuning/intonation: out of 20
Band sound quality: out of 20
Balance/clarity of textures: out of 20
Quality of soloists: out of 20
Overall understanding*: out of 20
Total musicality from the band**: out of 20

Total: out of 200

Comments

* direction and shaping of the entire work, phrasing, appropriate tempi and articulation
of the music
** style, commitment, elegance, beauty, control of all moods


Friday 3, 15:14:37

Waiting for the Tippett kick off

There has been a great deal of interest in the test pice this year from conductors, players and audience alike. It's a work that demands so much interns of style — but it is also technically very tricky too.

You can listen out for the little quotes and inferences in each homage from the composer's to his work — and it makes for fascinating listening.

Lots to look forward to then and lots to enjoy...


Friday 3, 15:08:16

Elite Division:

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Set Work:

Variations on a Theme by Tippett (Ball, Gregson, Howarth, Tovey, Wilby, Hindmarsh)

Friday 3rd February
Griegsalen
Start: 3.30pm (local time)

Adjudicators: Yngve Slettholm, Mark Heron, Tijmen Botma

1. Krohnengen (Bjorn Breistein)
2. Oslofjord Brass (Garry Cutt)
8. Manger Musikklag (Peter Sebastian Szilvay)
4. Molde Brass (Russell Gray)
5. Bjørsvik Brass (Andreas Hanson)
6. Stavanger Brass (Allan Withington)
7. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Howard Evans)
8. Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)
9. Kleppe Musikklag (Philip Hannevik)
10. Oslo Brass (Geir Holm)


Friday 3, 14:59:51

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Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett

Processional Michael Tippett (arr. Hindmarsh)
Danse des Amis Bramwell Tovey
Midsummer Song Edward Gregson
Scherzettino Michael Ball
Collage Elgar Howarth
Birthday Fugue/Finale Philip Wilby

Devised by to celebrate the centenary of Sir Michael Tippert in 2006, this unique collaboration between five leading creative voices in brass band music of recent years also celebrated the 60th and 70th birthdays of two of its contributors, Edward Gregson and Elgar Howarth. Philip Wilby pays birthday tributes in his dramatic fugal finale.

The theme is taken from Tippett's opera The Midsummer Marriage, and it also appears in his Birthday Suite for Prince Charles (1948), scored predominantly for brass.

The work was written for Foden's Band and Bramwell Tovey to perform at the 2006 RNCM Festival of Brass in Manchester (UK).
The same artists have also recorded it for NMC as illustrated above.

Variations on a theme of Michael Tippett is a demanding work that has technical and musical challenges appropriate to Championship Section brass band competitions, while also possessing considerable audience appeal.

Duration: c. 13-14 mins

Norwegian Nationals

Across the decades of brass band history, the finest music composed with contest performance in mind has often become established in the concert repertory of brass bands. However, music conceived primarily for concert performance has rarely found its way onto the contest stage at the elite level.

Imagine my surprise, then, when some months ago I received an email from the Norwegian Band Federation to inform me that a work which I devised as a piece d'occasion — the centenary of the birth of composer Michael Tippett in 2005 — for performance by Foden's Band and Bramwell Tovey at the annual RNCM Brass Band Festival in Manchester had been selected by the Norwegian Band Federation as the set work for the Norwegian Brass Band Championships on 3rd
February in Grieg Hall, Bergen).

With five composers each contributing a variation on a little processional march from Michael Tippett's opera The Midsummer Marriage — Bramwell Tovey, Edward Gregson, Michael Ball, Elgar
Howarth and Philip Wilby — Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett must be one of the most unusual test-pieces ever set.

It's going to be fascinating to hear how this unique collaborative work will be approached by the ten bands in the Elite Division.

Paul Hindmarsh
(with thanks)

http:/­/­www.paulhindmarsh.com/­online-shop/­phm-music-for-band-new-music-series/­product=variations-on-a-theme-of-michael-tippett


Friday 3, 14:35:47

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Second Section round up and prediction:

It's been an enjoyable and varied contest to kick things off here in the Grieghallen — with a mix of slight over-ambition as well as clear headed thinking. The best have been very good and would hold their own against the majority of First Section bands in the UK.

It's been a great warm up for what is to follow.

The best for us has been Sandefjord's super 'Enigma' followed by the bravura 'A King's Lie' from Orskog and the solid 'Abstractions' from Radoy. The top six is completed for us with Tromso, Jolster and Manger Old Stars. Trondheim Politis are our dark horse.

4BR Prediction:

1. Sandefjord
2. Orskog
3. Radoy
4. Tromso
5. Jolster
6. Manger Old Stars

Dark Horse: Trondheim Politis


Friday 3, 14:14:30

Variety is the spice of life..

The Second Section could have been sponsored by Heinz 57 such has been the variety of tastes that have been on show today.

We have had works by Gregson, Graham, Moren, Aagaard-Nilsen, Wood, Sparke, Crausaz and Nieuwenhuis — so how do you compare and contrast those?

Thank goodness we are not the judges — it's been a hard task and there is still one more to come.


Friday 3, 13:38:11

A sign of things to come...

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A sign of things to come...

The advance of technology... The solo cornet player of Alexander Brass Band proves that the age of the silver surfer has come to the brass band world — playing off an i-pad on the contest stage.

Shares in Apple Inc have just shot up 10%

What next virtual reality googles and emoji symbols instead of Italian phrases...


Friday 3, 13:19:33

Old Boys and Old Stars

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Manger Old Stars

One of the nice, but odd, features of this event is the number of bands made up of former players of Elite bands that come together to take part.

The most notable of course is Bjørsvik Brass — the sprightly retirement home for former Eikanger-Bjørsvik players — but here in the Second Division we have Manger Old Stars and in the Fifth Section there is KOS — Krohnengen Old Stars.

There is also the XO Band we heard at Siddis and the likes of Alexander Brass Band which is a great pub band that enjoys life the right side of 50.

Old bandsmen never die — they just get a little greyer on top and a little larger around the waist...


Friday 3, 12:53:08

Two thirds though the Second Section...

We are now two thirds through the Second Section and having another well timed break.

The Norwegian are up there with the Swiss in getting things to run on time (mind you Mussolini got the trains to run on time but that's another story)

It's been highly enjoyable and eclectic — with lots to sit back and amine as well as raise an old Roger Moore eyebrow to.

It's Sandefjord from Radoy and Tromso for us so far.


Friday 3, 12:19:39

More ambition

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On Stage — Sandefjord Brass Symposium (Jon Terje Svendsen)

A few of these bands are certainly putting their necks on the line here — now we have 'Variations on an Enigma' aged by Sandefjord Brass Symposium.

A few years ago they were a strong contender in the Elite Division and won the title in 1998 and 2000, but have struggled on late and now are battling back in the Second Division.

A good omen today is that they won that 1998 title on this very piece.


Friday 3, 12:13:14

A cautionary tale of Welsh meddling...

Hearing 'Five Blooms in a Welsh Garden' took me back to the the time the piece was used as the set work at the 1992 Europeans in Cardiff — and the complete and utter mess the local organisers made of the results.

The winners and second place were OK — but after that it was as muddied and muddled as a rugby maul in the soggy mud at Pontypool Park in the days of old.

The Welsh couldn't add up (the numbers were in English by all accounts) — and it became a lottery of mistakes. Finally it was sorted, but not without a great deal of embarrassment, red faces and Boosey and Hawkes putting their hands in their pockets to shell out a thousand pounds of prize money compensation.

The contest hasn't been back to Wales since


Friday 3, 11:36:21

Second Division early doors...

We have just had the first break of the day in the Second Section after five very contrasting performances — with equally diverse works on show.

Ambition just got the better of a couple, but then again, it wouldn't be Norway if that wasn't the case.

Radoy lead the way for us by a margin from Jolster and Trondheim — but there is still plenty of action to come...


Friday 3, 11:01:35

Meet The Adjudicators

NM brass 5. divisjon

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Florent Didier with Paris Brass Band (Winners of the 2016 French National Championship)

Florent Didier trained as a trombonist and has a Masters Degree in Music Technology.
His versatile musical background laid the foundation for his career and he directs everything from Chamber Music to Symphony Orchestra.

He gives masterclasses and is a widely practised as an instructor at seminars for all kinds of ensembles.
Since 2008 Florent Didier has been Music Director of the Paris Brass Band.

In addition he is solo trombonist in French Army Airforce Band, musician in Feeling Brass Quintet, responsible for the orchestras at the CRD in Creteil.
He is regularly in demand to play with the Orchestra de Paris, Opera national de Paris, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as other ensembles and orchestras in Norway and abroad.

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Michael Ball studied composition with Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music in London and won the College's major composition awards, including the Cobbett Prize.

He was awarded the travelling Scholarship with Franco Danatoni in Italy where he also took also masterclasses with Luciano Berio and Gyorgy Ligeti.

Michael has composed music for all music genres, including multiple brass works including Frontier! for the European Championships, Whitsun Wakes and Ceremony for the British Open and ' ... all the flowers of the mountain ... ', commissioned for the BBC to use in UK National Championship finals in 2004.

Chaucer's Tunes, An English Suite and A Cambrian Suite, are all written for the UK National Youth Championships.


Friday 3, 10:53:51

Peer Gynt action...

The Fifth Division action has started in the Peer Gynt Hall, where there are some intersting choices on show...

Fifth Division:

Friday 3rd February
Peer Gynt Hall
Own Choice
Start: 10.00am (local time)

Adjudicators: Florent Didier, Michael Ball

1. Alvik Musikklag (Torbjorn Dagestad Jnr)
Birth of a New Day (John Brakstad)

2. Borge Brass Band (Ken Goran Mikkelsen)
Variations of Laudate Dominum (Edward Guregson)

3. Lalm Musikkforening (Odd Ivar Svelstad)
A Celtic Suite (Philip Sparke)

4. Sotra Brass (Ben Hirons)
The Dark Side of the Moon (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

5. Moen Musikkforening (Ole Kristian Egge)
Inspiration (Jan de Haan)

6. Rosendal Musikklag (Paul Hughes)
The Saga of Haakon the Good (Philip Sparke)

7. Haus Musikklag (Christopher Roedvang)
Anglian Dances (Alan Fernie)

8. Randaberg Musikkorps (Pal Magne Austernes-Underhaug)
Anglian Dances (Alan Fernie)

9. Filadelfia Hornorkester Drammen (Pal Andre G Worren
Spirit of the Pioneers (Kenneth Downie)

10. Saksumdal Musikkforening (Andres Halla)
Legend in Brass (James Curnow)

11. Grenland Brass (Kenneth H. Gudmundsen)
Labour and Love (Percy Fletcher)

12. KOS — Krohnengen Old Stars (Oyvind Raknes Nikolaisen)
A London Overture (Philip Sparke)

13. Skeie Brass (Nigel Fielding)
Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals (Eric Ball)

14. Fjordbrass Lavik (Jason Burn)
Purcell Variations (Kenneth Downie)


Friday 3, 10:26:37

Plenty to enjoy

There should be plenty to enjoy in the Second Division here — as can be seen from the choices from the competing bands and the music they are showcasing.

There are some Bobby Dazzlers on the menu...


Friday 3, 10:24:36

Second Division:

Friday 3rd February
Griegsalen
Own Choice
Start: 9.30am (local time)

Adjudicators: Clare Farr, Thomas Rimul

1. Tysnes Musikklag (Yngve Nikolaisen)
Essay (Edward Gregson)

2. Lindas Brass (Hilde Brevik Grytten)
The Plantagenets (Edward Gregson)

3. Jolster Musikklag (Arvid Anthun)
Prisms (Peter Graham)

4. Trondheim Politis Brassband (Espen Andersen)
The Son of Light (Bertand Moren)

5. Radoy Brass (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Abstrations (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)

6. Agder Brass (Eirik Gjerdevik)
Five Blooms in a Welsh Garden (Gareth Wood)

7. Folleso Musikklag (Bjorn Breistein)
A London Overture (Philip Sparke)

8. Sandefjord Brass Symposium (Jon Terje Svendsen)
Variations on an Enigma (Philip Sparke)

9. Tromso Brass (Geir Davidsen)
Sinfonietta No 3 (Etienne Crausaz)

10. Manger Old Star Brass (Marit Tommermo)
The Land of the Long White Cloud (Philip Sparke)

11. Alexander Brass Band (Morten E Hansen)
The Land of the Long White Cloud (Philip Sparke)

12. Orskog Brass (David Roberts)
A King's Lie (Stan Nieuwenhuis)

13. Sagvag Musikklag (Yngve Nikolaisen)
The Plantagenets (Edward Gregson)


Friday 3, 10:12:21

Meet the Adjudicators

NM brass — 2. divisjon

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Clare Farr has been regularly involved in broadcasting and is a Bass Trombonist. She has played with many famous artists over the past few years following degree studies in London and Manchester and she has also completed majors at the Norwegian Academy of Music in 2001.
In his subsequent years, as a freelance musician, she had a long association with the Oslo Philharmonic.

Clare Farr has worked regularly in the Orchestra and Ensembles, both in Norway and abroad, in addition she was General Manager of the Youth Orchestra from 2006-2012. Clare also works as a conductor and music educator in Oslo and the surrounding area.
She is currently Music Director of the Sorum marching band.

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Thomas Rimul has a Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from the Norwegian Academy of Music.
He is an artistic director overseeing the premiere of many works with nearly 200 have record releases including the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Ernst and several military marching bands.

Thomas Rimul has been guest conductor for several of the Norwegian symphony orchestras and regularly directs professionally.
His involvement in a project "Transposition" has seen him repeatedly direct Vietnam's National Symphony Orchestra and teach Vietnamese conductors.
He has, for several years, taught at the Norwegian Academy of Music and currently he is a research fellow at the University of Stavanger.


Friday 3, 10:00:17

Early morning ambition

We have just started the action in the Second Division and there are the usual signs of Norwegian ambition on show — 'Essay' followed by 'The Plantagents'.

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A sign of things to come we wonder? What would old Edvard Grieg have thought of all is brass band playing...


Friday 3, 09:02:54

A warm welcome...

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As always there is such a warm welcome from the NMF organisers — and a little early sign of how well they do things here.

On the outside of the Griegahallen are plenty of posters and signs — including one projected onto the wall that can be seen from the middle of Bergen town centre. Everyone here knows the brass bands are in town...


Friday 3, 08:07:33

Off to the hall...

It's the Second Division that kicks things off this morning, so a final cup of coffee and then a brisk walk from the Bryggen up to the magnificent Griegahallen for the start of the action.

Just a couple of names that stood out in the programme before we left. Roy Newsome conducted Tomra to the First Division title here in 1993 and Rod Franks, who did so much to promote the early years of the event, led Kleppe Musikklag to the Second Division title back in 1981. Then there was Michael Antrobus, who was a great conductor and waspish wit every time we met him here over the years.

Much missed visionary men...


Friday 3, 07:59:15

The Brits...

There is a real possibility that this year will see the first home grown Norwegian conductor lead his band to the Elite Division title for the first time since 2010.

Then it was Peter Szilvay (who is back this year with Manger) — but for a nation with such a wonderful brass band movement, it is still rather strange that he was the first since Karl Ole Midtbo in 1990 to do so.

Since then it's been the preserve of an Australian (David King — 10 times), a Welshman (Nicholas Childs — 6) and two Englishman (Allan Withington — 3 times and Howard Snell — twice) as well as a Scot (Russell Gray), another Welshman (Gareth Pritchard) and another brace of Englishman (Garry Cutt and Richard Evans)

To be fair, Allan Withington now speaks with an accent halfway between West Houghton and West Flesland, but another Norwegian triumph is long overdue...


Friday 3, 07:38:12

Early morning musing...

Looking through the programme at breakfast this morning you see a few intersting little snippets of information that tell you a great deal about how far the Norwegian brass banding movement has come over the past few years.

In 1980 the top section set work work was 'Entertainments' by Gilbert Vinter. 'Pageantry' was used in 1987 and in 1997 it was 'Isaiah 40'. The own choice winning selections have gone from 'The Year of the Dragon' in 1993 (the first time the system was used) to 'Trance, by Thomas Doss last year.

Most startling perhaps was that the band that won the Fifth Division in 2014 played 'Paganini Variations'...


Thursday 2, 23:47:19

Bergen nightlife

Bergen may not quite be a city that doesn't sleep, but it still has plenty of night time attractions to keep you occupied.

It was great to pop into a pub on the Bryggen waterfront to hear some jazz guitar before heading off to meet up with a few friends to talk about Norwegian banding. Just enough time left to round things off with a quick pint and a chat with Steven Mead who will be covering the event with his analysis and marking system alongside Chris Thomas for 4BR for the Elite and First Division events this weekend.

On the way back to the hotel there was even a bloke playing a mean harmonica for a few Krone...


Thursday 2, 21:45:42

And elsewhere...

As always here in Bergen there is just as much fun to be had in listening to the action in the other sections — and this year is no different.

How about 'A London Overture' in the Fifth Division, or a real piece of musical archeology that has been unearthed by a band playing Eric Ball's 'Youth Salutes a Master' in the Fourth Division. There are some ambitious choices in the Third Division — including one band tackling 'Variations on an Enigma' by Philip Sparke, whilst you can hear a brace of 'Long White Clouds', a pair of 'Plantagenets' and another 'Enigma' in the Second.

And what about a First Division contest that includes 'Fraternity', 'Montage', 'Of Distant Memories', 'Hypercube' and 'As if a voice were in them' amongst others....

Told you there was plenty to look forward to...


Thursday 2, 21:22:54

A few things to look out for in the top section

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Sir Michael Tippett (2 January 1905-8 January 1998)

The defending Elite Divison champion is Eikanger-Bjørsvik, who claimed the title by the narrowest of margins last year under the baton of Prof Nicholas Childs — their seventh win in the last nine years.

He is not at the helm this year though — with the well known symphonic conductor Ingar Bergby in charge. There is also a change at Manger Musikklag, with the electrifying Peter Sebastian Szilvay back to see if he can repeat their famous victory together here in 2010.

No Howard Snell either (and what a pity that is) with the legends of Bjørsvik Brass, although the strong UK challenge is maintained by Garry Cutt at Oslofjord, Howard Evans with Jaren and Russell Gray once more taking Molde.

There is also a strong British connection with the set work — and the intellectually stimulating 'Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett' — not your everyday coach, bang, wallop what a picture sort of thing — not by a long way.

It's another excellent work chosen by the organisers — following on from Stig Nordhagen's 'Searching for Light' last year. The appetite for something contemporary and a little difference is a live and well here in Norway.


Thursday 2, 21:11:41

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How the action unfolds...

The competitive action starts bright and early on Friday morning with the Second Division bands locking horns in the main Griegsalen auditorium at 9.30am, and the Fifth Division contenders starting off at 10.00am in the Peer Gynt hall.

Later in the day it's the turn of the Third Division rivals in the smaller Peer Gynt Hall, with the Elite Division heavyweights kicking their challenge off on 'Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett' at 3.30pm local time.

Lots and lots to look forward to then....

Friday 3rd February:

9.30am: Second Division (Griegsalen)
4.00pm: Third Division

10.00am: Fifth Division (Peer Gynt Hall)
3.30pm: Elite Division (Set Work)

Saturday 4th February:

11.00am: Fourth Division: (Peer Gynt Hall)

8.30am: First Division (Griegsalen)
2.45pm: Elite Division (Own Choice)


Thursday 2, 21:01:40

Welcome to Bergen...

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It's been a bit of a long journey to get from the heartland of the Welsh valleys to the Nordic splendour of a chilly Bergen (Wales wasn't much warmer to be fair) — but after a tortuous bus journey to Heathrow and a bumpy flight over the North Sea we have finally made it.

Time to settle down and contemplate taking out a mortgage for a few pints, but the prospect of some brilliant competitive music making over the weekend can even tempt a fallen Methodist to embrace temperance for a few extra hours...


Thursday 2, 20:57:53

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Fifth Division:

Friday 3rd February
Peer Gynt Hall
Own Choice
Start: 10.00am (local time)

Adjudicators: Florent Didier, Michael Ball

1. Alvik Musikklag (Torbjorn Dagestad Jnr)
Birth of a New Day (John Brakstad)

2. Borge Brass Band (Ken Goran Mikkelsen)
Variations of Laudate Dominum (Edward Gregson)

3. Lalm Musikkforening (Odd Ivar Svelstad)
A Celtic Suite (Philip Sparke)

4. Sotra Brass (Ben Hirons)
The Dark Side of the Moon (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

5. Moen Musikkforening (Ole Kristian Egge)
Inspiration (Jan de Haan)

6. Rosendal Musikklag (Paul Hughes)
The Saga of Haakon the Good (Philip Sparke)

7. Haus Musikklag (Christopher Roedvang)
Anglian Dances (Alan Fernie)

8. Randaberg Musikkorps (Pal Magne Austernes-Underhaug)
Anglian Dances (Alan Fernie)

9. Filadelfia Hornorkester Drammen (Pal Andre G Worren
Spirit of the Pioneers (Kenneth Downie)

10. Saksumdal Musikkforening (Andres Halla)
Legend in Brass (James Curnow)

11. Grenland Brass (Kenneth H. Gudmundsen)
Labour and Love (Percy Fletcher)

12. KOS — Krohnengen Old Stars (Oyvind Raknes Nikolaisen)
A London Overture (Philip Sparke)

13. Skeie Brass (Nigel Fielding)
Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals (Eric Ball)

14. Fjordbrass Lavik (Jason Burn)
Purcell Variations (Kenneth Downie)


Thursday 2, 20:37:03

Fourth Division:

Saturday 4th February
Peer Gynt Hall
Own Choice
Start: 11.00am (local time)

Adjudicators: Tijmen Botma, Thomas Rimul

1. Hetlevik Musikklag (Andreas Heier Roe)
Youth Salutes a Master (Eric Ball)

2. Stavanger Kommunes Korps (Gwyn Evans)
Heart of a Salvationist (Anders Beijer)

3. IMI Brass (Per-Erik Petersen)
Festivity (Leslie Condon)

4. Lillehammer Brass (Jon Kristian Solberg)
Purcell Variations (Kenneth Downie)

5. Floro Hornmusikk (Torgeir Halvorsen)
The Graces of Love (Oliver Waespi)

6. Frei Hornmusikk (Stein Age Sorlie)
Saint-Saens Variations (Philip Sparke)

7. Nes Musikkforening (Thorbjorn Lunde)
Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

8. Kjolsdalen Musikklag (Arvid Anthun)
Harmonious Variations (Gordon Langford)

9. Lyshornet Brass (Oyvind Raknes Nikolaisen)
Dimensions (Peter Graham)

10. Lismarka/Mesnali Brass (Anders Harstadhaugen)
A Cambrian Suite (Michael Ball)

11. Indre Torungen Brass Ensemble (Lars Bjornar Strengenes)
Musica Helvetica (Jan De Haan)

12. Brumunddal Brass (Per Kristian O Syversen)
Hinemoa (Gareth Wood)

13. Fla Musikkorps (Odd Steinar Morkved)
Saint-Saens Variations (Philip Sparke)

14. Fraena Musikkorps (Mareika Gray)
Labour and Love (Percy Fletcher)

15. Holmestrand Ungdomskorps (Svend Erik Andersen)
Saint-Saens Variations (Philip Sparke)


Thursday 2, 20:08:44

Third Division:

Friday 3rd February
Peer Gynt Hall
Own Choice
Start: 4.00pm (local time)

Adjudicators: Ivan Meylemans, Thomas Beiganz

1. Langhus Brass (Thomas Swatland)
Kaleidoscope (Kenneth Downie)

2. Fjell Brass (Paul Fensom)
Fanfare and Love Songs (Gavin Higgins)

3. Salhaus Musiklag (Bengt Florvag)
The Three Musketeers (George Hespe)

4. Gjesdal Brass Band (Jonas Skartveit Rogne)
Princethorpe Variations (Kenneth Downie)

5. Bjorvika Brass Band (Robert Solberg Nilsen)
The Essence of Time (Peter Graham)

6. Tysvaer Brass (Martin Kinn)
The Raid (Oliver Waespi)

7. Flora-Bremanger Brassband (Philip Goodwin)
Essay (Edward Gregson)

8. Stangaland Brass (Melvin White)
Variations on an Enigma (Philip Sparke)

9. Gjovik Bybrass (Christian Tenfjord)
Harmony Festival (Jan de Haan)

10. Sorum Musikklag (Henrik Dagestad-Dalhaug)
Symphony of Marches (Gilbert Vinter)

11. Skui Brassband (Thor-Willy Karlsen)
Salamander (John McCabe)

12. Bergen Brass Band (Sindre Dalhaug)
Blazon (Peter Graham)

13. Rong Brass (Thor-Arne Pedersen)
Traversada (Peter Graham)

14. Valdres Brass (Thorgeir Thunestvedt)
Blazon (Peter Graham)

15. Laksevag Musikkforening (Helge Haukas)
Connotations (Edward Gregson)


Thursday 2, 19:46:50

Second Division:

Friday 3rd February
Griegsalen
Own Choice
Start: 9.30am (local time)

Adjudicators: Clare Farr, Thomas Rimul

1. Tysnes Musikklag (Yngve Nikolaisen)
Essay (Edward Gregson)

2. Lindas Brass (Hilde Brevik Grytten)
The Plantagenets (Edward Gregson)

3. Jolster Musikklag (Arvid Anthun)
Prisms (Peter Graham)

4. Trondheim Politis Brassband (Espen Andersen)
The Son of Light (Bertand Moren)

5. Radoy Brass (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Abstrations (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)

6. Agder Brass (Eirik Gjerdevik)
Five Blooms in a Welsh Garden (Gareth Wood)

7. Folleso Musikklag (Bjorn Breistein)
A London Overture (Philip Sparke)

8. Sandefjord Brass Symposium (Jon Terje Svendsen)
Variations on an Enigma (Philip Sparke)

9. Tromso Brass (Geir Davidsen)
Sinfonietta No 3 (Etienne Crausaz)

10. Manger Old Star Brass (Marit Tommermo)
The Land of the Long White Cloud (Philip Sparke)

11. Alexander Brass Band (Morten E Hansen)
The Land of the Long White Cloud (Philip Sparke)

12. Orskog Brass (David Roberts)
A King's Lie (Stan Nieuwenhuis)

13. Sagvag Musikklag (Yngve Nikolaisen)
The Plantagenets (Edward Gregson)


Thursday 2, 19:23:47

First Division:

Saturday 4th February
Griegsalen
Own Choice
Start: 8.30am (local time)

Adjudicators: Yngve Slettholm, Thomas Beiganz

1. Tertnes Brass (Martin Winter)
Harmony Music (Philip Sparke)

2. Askoy Brass Band (Reid Gilje)
As if a voice were in them (Oliver Waespi)

3. Tertnes Amatorkorps (Bengt Florvag)
Montage (Peter Graham)

4. Hasle Brass (Robert Solberg Nilsen)
...Dove Descending (Philip Wilby)

5. Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn (Rune Gundersen)
Isaiah 40 (Robert Redhead)

6. Sola Brass Band (Frederick Theodoloz)
Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

7. Oster Brass (Joseph Cook)
Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)

8. Flesland Musikklag (Thor-Arne Pedersen)
Time Machine (Thomas Doss)

9. Haukas Musikklag (Jan Egil Jorgensen)
Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

10. Tomra Brass Band (Stian E. Svendsen)
Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

11. Brottum Brass (Ray Farr)
Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)

12. Ila Brass (Adam Cooke)
Hypercube (Oliver Waespi)


Thursday 2, 18:57:43

Elite Division:

 

Set Work:

Variations on a Theme by Tippett (Ball, Gregson, Howarth, Tovey, Wilby, Hindmarsh)

Friday 3rd February
Griegsalen
Start: 3.30pm (local time)

Adjudicators: Yngve Slettholm, Mark Heron, Tijmen Botma

Competing bands — no draw given as yet

1. Krohnengen (Bjorn Breistein)
2. Oslo Brass (Geir Holm)
3. Stavanger Brass (Allan Withington)
4. Molde Brass (Russell Gray)
5. Oslofjord Brass (Garry Cutt)
6. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Howard Evans)
7. Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)
8. Manger Musikklag (Peter Sebastian Szilvay)
9. Kleppe Musikklag (Philip Hannevik)
10. Bjørsvik Brass (Andreas Hanson)

Own Choice:

Saturday 4th February
Griegsalen
Start: 2.45pm (local time)

Adjudicators: Florent Didier, Michael Ball, Ivan Meylemans

1. Manger Musikklag (Peter Sebastian Szilvay)
Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)

2. Oslofjord Brass (Garry Cutt)
The Torchbearer (Peter Graham)

3. Bjørsvik Brass (Andreas Hanson)
Dances and Arias (Edward Gregson)

4. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Howard Evans)
Spiriti (Thomas Doss)

5. Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)
Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

6. Molde Brass (Russell Gray)
Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

7. Krohnengen (Bjorn Breistein)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Peter Graham)

8. Stavanger Brass (Allan Withington)
The Turing Test (Simon Dobson)

9. Oslo Brass (Geir Holm)
Riffs and Interludes (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)

10. Kleppe Musikklag (Philip Hannevik)
REM-scapes (Thomas Doss)




Black Dyke Band - Sheffield Citadel Salvation Army

Thursday 19 October • 12 Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8YN


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band

Friday 20 October • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. opp. Reserved. London. W1C 2DJR W1C 2DJ


Black Dyke Band - Denby Dale Ladies Choir

Saturday 21 October • Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation St, Huddersfield, HD1 2TA


Rhyl Silver Band - Rhyl Silver Band and Cor Clwyd

Saturday 21 October • Town Hall. RHYL LL18


Concert - Grimethorpe Colliery: Beck Theatre

Sunday 22 October • Grange Rd, Hayes UB3 2UE


Glossop Old Band

October 19 • SOLO TROMBONE. The Glossop Old Band Welcomes applications for the Solo Trombone Chair. The Band will be competing in the First Section as of 2018 and are looking to continue its progression back to the top levels of performance


Glossop Old Band

October 19 • PRINCIPLE CORNET. The Glossop Old Band Welcomes applications for the Principle Cornet Chair. . The Band will be competing in the First Section as of 2018 and are looking to continue its progression back to the top levels of performance.


The Corsham Band

October 19 • With promotion to the 2nd Section from January 2018 the band are now looking to fill a couple of vacancies. One front row and one back row cornet plus an EEb Bass.


Julian Bright


Conductor, Compere/MC, Cornet Soloist