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2004 Norwegian National Championships

February 13th - 15th

4BR will be in Bergen to to report back from the 25th Norwegian Nationals.

For the second successive year, 4BR will be packing the thermal underwear and taking a short break to head for the 25th running of the Norwegian National Brass Band Championships. Who would have thought that when the contest first started in 1979 it would blossom into an event of this magnitude.

The Norwegians at first copied what they had seen and heard at the Royal Albert Hall, but instead of letting the contest become gentrified they made amendments to the way in which they wanted it to be run, and more importantly to the way in which they thought it should develop successfully. Whatever the ups and downs, they now have a “Nationals” to rank with any other throughout the banding world.

For the “Elite Section” the format is now much the same as the European Championships – a set work and own choice amalgam spread over two days. It has certainly made for some exciting contests over the past few years, and last year in particular was a cracker. Stavanger under the mercurial talents of David King won the title, topping both sections of the contest to win by 1.5 points from Eikanger. Both of these bands gave jaw dropping own choice performances.

However, the real joy of Bergen (certainly not the price of beer) is the fact that so many of the bands push themselves to the limit (and in many cases, a bit to far for their own good) and the own choices selections of many competitors is ambitious to say the least. This year is no exception with “Variations on a Ninth” being picked by one Fourth Division band. Now that’s what call ambitious. The top bands will have to get to grips with a bit of “Graffiti” – so that should be interesting to say the least.

It should make for a great weekend though, and 4BR will give regular updates each day and night to tell you how it is all planning out. We hope to get some interviews from the great and the good, and will post the results up on the site the moment we get them.

We will of course soak up all the atmosphere, will remember we are ambassadors for our country, and will try to keep in touch with what is happening from the Millennium Stadium. 62 bands or Wales winning in style at rugby? As long as the boys in red win, we think we can make the sacrifice.

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