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2003 Norwegian Brass Band Championships

7th and 8th February 2003
Grieg Hall

First Division:
Saturday 8th Feb: 09.00 - 13.35

Competing Bands:

Askøy Brass Band

Conductor: Egil Magnussen
Norwegian Ranking: 10
National Record: 2002 – 2nd 1st Division; 2001 – 6th; 2000 – 11th; 1999 – 3rd; 1998 – n/k; 1997 – 7th; 1996 – 2nd; 1995 – 7th; 1994 – 10th;
Last Year: 2nd in 1st Division

Last years runners up in this section missed winning by 2 points, so they will be very keen to try and go one better this time. Yngve Nikolaisen directed then, but this year Egil Magnussen takes over once more. He led the band in the previous three years.

Results have been a little up and down over the past few years with two podium positions interspersed with a lowly 11th in 2000 and 6th in 2001. The past two years they have also done well at the SIDDIS contest coming runners up in the 1st Division under the two MD’s.

Could well be up there come prize time.

Hornorkesteret Stavanger

Morten E. Hansen
Norwegian Ranking: 18
National Record: 2002 – 2nd in 2nd Division; 2001 – 4th in 2nd Division; 2000 – 5th in 2nd Division;
Last Year: Runners up in 2nd Division

Promoted from the Second Division following their runners up spot last year, Stavanger have been a band that has made an improvement in its results on each of the last three occasions it has competed here. 5th back in the 2nd Division in 2000 came 4th and then 2nd, so they will be keen to keep the upward progress going.

Morten Hansen has been the key behind the success story and that success was nearly topped last year by coming just 2 points behind Vennesia. Morten also led the band at the SIDDIS contest where they came 6th in 2001 and 8th last year.

Kleppe Musikklag

Conductor: Eirik Gjerdevik
Norwegian Ranking: 14
National Record: 2002 – 4th; 2001 – 12th; 2000 – 7th;
Last Year: 4th

A slightly up and down set of results at the Championships over the past three years for Eirik Gjerdevik’s band with last years fine performance gaining them 4th place, whilst in 2001 they came a lowly 12th. They will be hoping them for at least a repeat of a twelve month ago or even a repeat of the form they have shown at the SIDDIS contest over the past two years when they have come 3rd on both occasions.

We don’t quite know how they will do this time, but a repeat of 2002 is not beyond them.

Oster Brass

Conductor: Reid Gilje
Norwegian Ranking: 16
National Record: 2002 – 10th; 2001 – 8th; 2000 – 10th; 1999 – 7th;
Last Year: 10th

Reid Gilje takes the band for the second successive year and will be hoping for a slightly better result than 2002 when they could only manage 10th. The last few years at the Nationals have seen the band occupy the lower midfield places in the prize list with 7th then 10th then 8th before Reid took over from Frode Rydland to take them last year.

Reid is also the third MD to have a crack at improving results with the band in the past couple of years with A. Torsvik and Frode Rydland also wielding the baton since 1999. SIDDIS was a disappointment last year when they could only come 11th under Rydland after coming 4th the year before.

We don’t think they will challenge for the top prizes this time, but they will be looking for a good performance and a possible top six at best.

Radøy Brass

Conductor: Gareth Pritchard
Norwegian Ranking: 21
National Record: 2002 – 9th; 2001 – 5th; 2000 – 5th; 1999 – 5th;
Last Year: 9th

Gareth Pritchard knows what it takes to win a National or two and he directs Radoy for a second successive year. They came 9th last year under his direction, which was a bit of a disappointment following three years in which they had kept coming 5th.

Some interesting names have conducted the band in the past few years as well, with Gareth joining a list that includes T. Aargaard Nilsen who directed in 2001 and Tom Brevik who conducted the band in 1999. Two men who have won the Nationals in the Elite Section then plus one heck of a composer isn’t a bad CV. They didn’t compete at SIDDIS last year but came 5th under Stian Svendsen in 2001.

They will be looking for an improvement this year, and hopefully a placing on the rostrum, but we think it may be a top six place at best.

Sagvåg Musikklag

Conductor: Yngve Nikolaisen
Norwegian Ranking: 17
National Record: 2002 – 5th; 2001 – 9th; 2000 – 8th; 1999 – 8th;
Last Year: 5th

A consistent record here since 1999, but one that shows that they have never quite struck a golden vein of form to challenge for the very top prizes. The experienced and busy Yngve Nikolaisen will take the band this time, after Englishman Michael Fowles took the band into 5th place (their best for a number of years) in 2002.

The last time Yngve directed the band here was 1999 when they came 8th, whilst J. Olsen took the band when they came 8th and then 9th in 2000 and 2001.

The band had a disappointing SIDDIS contest last year when they came 12th under Per Olav Paulsen, which was a drop of three places from 9th in 2001.

They could do well, but we think it may be a repeat of last year at best this time around.

Sola Brass Band

Conductor: Steve Bastable
Norwegian Ranking: 15
National Record: 2002 – 6th; 2001 – 3rd; 2000 – 1st in 2nd Division; 1999 – 9th;
Last Year: 6th

Sola have made a real coup in getting Steve Bastable to direct their attempt to win here this year. The man who will be taking Williams Fairey to the Regional Championships next month certainly enjoyed himself in Norway last year when he took Stavanger to 3rd place in the Elite Section.

Russell Gray took the band in both 2001 and 2002 when they came 3rd and 6th, whilst yet another Englishman, Melvin White directed the band in 1999 when they came 9th. They also employed Micheal Antrobus when they came 6th at SIDDIS last year after coming 7th the year before.

They should be raring to go, and with a very exciting talent in front of them they could well feature. May be not winners, but a podium place may not be beyond them.

Sørum Musikklag

Conductor: Trond Elnes
Norwegian Ranking: 22
National Record: 2002 – 7th; 2001 – 2nd in 2nd Division; 2000 – Joint 5th in 2nd Division;
Last Year: 7th

A band with an improving record here over the past few years with Trond Elnes the person behind it. They were joint 5th in the 2nd Division in 1999 and have since followed that up with a runners up spot in 2001 and then 7th in the First Section last year. That has been excellent progress.

They have also shown great form at the SIDDIS contest in the past two years as well coming 8th in 2001 and then 5th last year.

A band that we are sure will continue to improve and so a possible top six place may be on the cards.

Tertnes Brass

Conductor: John Hinckley
Norwegian Ranking: 7
National Record: 2002 – 10th in Elite Division; 2001 – 7th in Elite Division; 2000 – 6th in Elite Division; 1999 – 2nd in 1st Division;
Last Year: 10th in Elite Division

A drop from the Elite Section may well prove the starting point for a recovery for Tertnes, and recent form at the SIDDIS contest where they came 6th under John Hinckley may be an indication that they could well challenge for the top prize here.

The band were promoted from the 1st Division after coming runners up in 1999, before they came 6th and then 7th in 2000 and 2001. Finally they came 10th and had to suffer the drop. All those performances were directed by Michael Antrobus, but John Hinkley’s appointment could be the start of a return to the top. They also came 8th under his baton at the Elite level at SIDDIS in 2001.

Could be one of the bands to beat we think, so don’t be surprised if they feature in the top three at least.

Tomra Brass Band

Conductor: Arnfinn Dalhaug
Norwegian Ranking: 13
National Record: 2002 – 3rd; 2001 – 4th; 2000 – 8th in Elite Division; 1999 – 1st in 1st Division;
Last Year: 3rd

Arnfinn Dalhaug and his band have taken the opportunity to re group here after being relegated from the Elite Section after coming 8th in 2000. They had been promoted up to the top tier after winning the First Section in 1999, so perhaps they weren’t quite prepared enough.

The last two years though have seen two solid performances and the results have shown that they could now be just ready to possibly take their second title here in five years. Whether that will lead to an extended stay in the Elite Section is impossible to say, but they do seem to have a very solid foundation to work from.

They didn’t compete at SIDDIS last year, but were 10th in the Elite Division in 2001. They seem to have the pedigree though at this level and they will for us by one of the real challengers for the top prize.

Vennesla Kristne Brass

Conductor: Bjørn Breistein
Norwegian Ranking: 19
National Record: 2002 – 1st in 2nd Division; 2001 – 10th in 1st Division; 2000 – 3rd; 1999 – 4th;
Last Year: Winners of Second Division

Last years Second Division winners will be hoping that their return to the First Section doesn’t end in a repeat of their result of 2001 when they came 10th and were relegated. Bjorn Breistein led them to that promotion after coming 4th in 1999 and then 3rd in 2000 in the First Division, so they know what it takes to make a mark. Why they then came 10th we don’t know, but they have bounced back straight away, and that is always a good sign.
The band have also competed at SIDDIS coming 10th in 2001 and then 7th last year under the direction of Vida Lovbrot.

Another band who have shown that they can do well at this level, so they will be hoping for a repeat of 1999 and 2000. May be not quite this time, but they will surely not repeat 2002.

Own Choice Selections:

Ballet for Band - Joseph Horovitz
Between the Moon and Mexico - Philip Sparke
Endeavour - Philip Sparke
English Heritage - George Lloyd
English Heritage - George Lloyd
Firestorm - Stephen Bulla
Leonardo - Philip Wilby
Paganini Variations - Philip Wilby
Paganini Variations - Philip Wilby
Tallis Variations - Philip Sparke
Variations On An Enigma - Philip Sparke

Jens T. Larsen and Aline Nistad

2002 Result:

First Division

1. Alexander Brass Band – 97pts
2. Askøy Brass Band – 95pts
3. Tomra Brass Band – 94pts
4. Kleppe Musikklag – 93pts
5. Sagvåg Musikklag – 92pts
6. Sola Brass Band – 91pts
7. Sørum Musikklag – 90pts
8. Brøttum Musikkforening – 89pts
9. Radøy Brass – 88pts
10. Oster Brass – 87pts
11. Trondheim Politis Brassband – 86pts

The Winners:

2002: Alexander Brass Band
2001: Ila Brass Band
2000: Oslofjord
1999: Tomra
1998: Molde
1997: Radoy
1996: Sandefjord Brass Symposium
1995: Sagvag Musikklag
1994: Radoy
1993: Tomra

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