2005 European Championships - Band by band analysis


We have a look at the records of the nine competing bands all hoping to leave the Martiniplaza shaken and not stirred into becoming the 28th Champion Band of Europe.

This year there is a fantastically strong line up of bands from around Europe, but who will compete to become the 28th Champion Brass Band of Europe. 

Scotland flagWhitburn - Scotland
Andrew Duncan

Principal Cornet: Eleanor Ferguson
Principal Euph: Evelyn Bradley
Principal Trombone: Mark Boyd
Soprano: Kay MacKenzie
Flugel: Jim Chamberlain
Horn: Iain Fleming
Eb Tuba: Graham Fraser

4BR Ranking: 8

European Appearances: 11th time
(1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, 2000, 2004)

European Record: (set work/own choice)
1980: 8th overall – 7th/8th
1981: 4th overall – n/k
1982: 6th overall – 4th/7th
1983: 4th overall – 3rd/8th
1984: 3rd overall – 4th/5th
1987: 3rd overall – 3rd/4th
1988: 8th overall – 9th/8th
1990: 2nd overall – 2nd/5th
1993: 10th overall – 10th/6th
2000: 4th overall – 2nd/6th

The first appearance was conducted by Kevin Bolton in 1980, followed by Peter Parkes in 1981 and Geoffrey Whitham in 1982. Anthony Swainson held the baton from 1983 to 1988 and again in 1993, whilst Peter Parks returned in 1990. Philip McCann was at the helm in 2000.

Own choice works used:
1980: John O'Gaunt
1981: Journey Into Freedom
1982: Triumphant Rhapsody
1983: Blitz
1984: Ballet for Band
1987: Blitz
1988: Frontier
1990: Blitz
1993: Paganini Variations
2000: Dances and Arias

Best Performance: 2nd overall in 1990 in Falkirk. 
Last Year: DNQ

Andrew DuncanConductor: Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan was born in Glasgow.  After taking up trombone aged 11, he joined the West Calder and then Whitburn Junior Bands finally on Tuba.  He was a member of Whitburn Band for and studied at Napier University before studying at the Guildhall School of Music, where he was taught by James Andersen.

In 1984, he was appointed the Principal Tuba with the Halle Orchestra, a position he held for 16 years.  In 1998, gave the World Premiere performance of John Golland's Tuba Concerto at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.  He has also played with many leading British Orchestras and with London and Halle Brass. Andrew has been a tutor at the RNCM, the University of Salford, Chethams and Huddersfield University.

While playing he developed his arranging and composing skills.  In 1994 the Halle gave the premiere of his Concerto for Trombone and after this he became a regular composer and arranger with Halle.  His pieces for brass bands are regularly played and recorded and he won the "Best New Composition" at the Spennymoor Championships for five consecutive years (1996-2000). 

He was the Musical Director of the Hepworth Band from 2000-2001 and was appointed as Principal Conductor of Whitburn Band in 2003 following his phenomenal success with the Band, which has seen them win the West Lothian Festival Contest and gain a historic second place at the British Open Championships in Birmingham.

Netherlands flagBrass Band Rijnmond - Netherlands
Erik Janssen

Principal Cornet: Dik van Doorn
Principal Euph: Olaf Kruidhof
Principal Trombone: Jaume Gavilon Agullo
Soprano: Pascal van der Velde
Flugel: Frank Fritsch
Horn: Pim Matthee
Eb Tuba: Joop de Haan

4BR Ranking: 122

European Appearances: 4th time
(1986, 1991, 1995, 2005)

European Record: (set work/own choice)
1986: 7th overall –9th/6th
1991: 11th overall – 7th/11th
1995: 11th overall – 11th/9th

The band were conducted by L. Niesten on their debut in 1986, followed by A. Appelo in 1991 and Gareth Jones in 1995.

Own choice works used:
1986: Land of the Long White Cloud
1991: Year of the Dragon
1995: Dances and Arias

Best Performance: 7th overall in 1986 in Cardiff.
Last Year: DNQ
Erik JanssenConductor: Erik Jannsen

Erik Janssen was born in 1966 and became the Musical Director of the conductor of the band in 2000. He studied at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, where he came under the teaching of  Peter Masseurs and Danny Oosterman and gained a Doctorate in the Trumpet.

He has also been associated with Brass Band Schoonhoven, Noordholland Concert Brass and Zaandijks Fanfare Corps. He has also performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Jeugdorkest, Netherlands Studenten Orchestra, Amsterdam Wind Orchestra as well as a selection of diverse musical groups and Big Bands.

France flagBrass Band Aeolus - France
Bastien Stil

Principal Cornet: Clement Saunier
Principal Euph: Patrick Couttet
Principal Trombone: Romain Simon
Soprano: Olivier Voisin
Flugel: Charly Villoteau
Horn: Arnaud Laporte
Eb Tuba: Andre Gilbert

4BR Ranking: 172

European Appearances: Debut this year (2005)

European Record: (set work/own choice)

Own choice works used:

Best Performance: N/A
Last Year: DNQ

Bastien StilConductor: Bastien Stil

Bastien Stil made made his debut at the age of 4 and went on to be taught by Pierre Duvauchelle at Rouen and gaining a Diploma aged 12 at the Académie Léopold Bellan.

At 13 he commenced tuition at the saxhorn at the Ecole Nationale de Musique du Havre with Christian Maillard. He also studied the tuba with Philippe Legris of the  Conservatoire du Xème of Paris, in the analysis and history of music and orchestra direction at CNR de Rouen. He discovered the brass band Brass-Band Normandie and played at the Académie d'été du national Jugend Brass-Band de Suisse under the direction of  Edward Gregson. 

He has played tuba with Fernand Lelong, Gérard Bucquet and Bernard Neuranter, and chamber music with Jens Mac Manama, composition with Bernard de Crépy, analysis with Françoise Rieunier, History of music with Sylvie Pébrier and orchestral direction with  Sébastien Billard and Claire Levacher.

He is a member of l'Orchestre des Gardiens de la Paix de Paris and a visiting professor of the tuba at the tuba at l'école Nationale de Musique du Havre. In 2001 he obtained the Diplôme de Formation Supérieure du CNSM de Paris.

He is currently the tuba player with  l'Orchestre Léonard de Vinci – Opéra de Rouen and regularly performs with ensembles such as l'Orchestre de Paris, l'Orchestre national de France, l'Opéra de Paris.

England flag

Black Dyke - England
Dr. Nicholas Childs

Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Principal Euph: David Thornton:
Trombone: Brett Baker
Soprano: Peter Roberts
Flugel: John Doyle
Horn: Leslie Howie
Eb Tuba: Joseph Cook

4BR Ranking: 2

European Appearances: 17th time
(1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2005)

European Record: (set work/own choice)
1978: Winners overall  – n/k  
1979: Winners overall – 1st/1st
1980: 2nd overall – 3rd/1st
1982: Winners overall – 1st/1st
1983: Winners overall – 1st/1st
1984: Winners overall – 1st/1st
1985: Winners overall – 2nd/4th
1986: 2nd overall – 2nd/1st
1987: Winners overall – 1st/3rd
1988: 2nd overall – 2nd/1st
1990: Winners overall – 1st/1st
1991: Winners overall – 2nd/2nd
1992: 2nd overall – 3rd/3rd
1995: Winners overall – 1st/3rd
1996: 2nd overall – 2nd/1st
2002: 3rd overall – 3rd/2nd

The performances from 1978 to 1988 were conducted by Peter Parkes. David King directed in 1990 and 1991, whilst James Watson took the helm between 1992 and 1996. Nicholas Childs made his first appearance with the band in 2002.

Own choice works used:
1978: Connotations  
1979: John O'Gaunt
1980: Journey Into Freedom
1982: Pageantry
1983: Epic Symphony
1984: Blitz
1985: Volcano 
1986: Contest Music
1987: Contest Music
1988: Cloudcatcher Fells
1990: Harmony Music
1991: Diversions on a Bass Theme
1992: Odin
1995: Variations on an Enigma
1996: Revelation
2002: Revelation

Best Performance: 10 time winners
(1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1995)

Last Year: DNQ

Conductor: Dr. Nicholas J. ChildsDr. Nicholas J. Childs
Dr. Nicholas Childs has achieved the highest international reputation as a performer, teacher/clinician, conductor, interpreter and advocate of new music, and producer of recordings. Initial success came as a euphonium soloist, performing in many of the world's most famous concert halls with the most prestigious bands and orchestras.

In recent years he has premiered with Black Dyke Band new works by leading British composers. In 2000 he directed Fodens in the premiere of Trumpets of the Angels and followed this with the RNCM Brass Band's first presentation of Danceries.

He has pursued a series of pace-setting recordings of new music, including releases of Michael Ball, Arthur Butterworth, Peter Graham and Wilfred Heaton. With Black Dyke Band as Band-in-Residence at the RNCM, he has been able to promoted several BBC Radio 3 broadcasts.

Having first been trained in the Tredegar Youth Band, he continues to give important emphasis to the development of the brass band movement. He has served as the director of The NYBB of Denmark, and has gained national championships in France, Norway, Wales and Scotland. He has won three Championships of Great Britain, 1999 with Fodens, and 2001 and 2004 with Black Dyke. His company, Doyen Recordings, in cooperation with SP&S, Ltd., maintains the largest catalogue of brass band recordings.

Switzerland flagBrass Band Treize Etoiles – Switzerland
Geo-Pierre Moren

Principal Cornet: Patrick Vergeres
Principal Euph: Sebastien Heritier
Trombone: Bertrand Moren
Soprano: Manuel Cathoblaz
Flugel: Claude Romailler
Horn: Jocelyne Moren
Eb Tuba: Philippe Rapalli

4BR Ranking: 58

European Appearances: 11th time
(1979, 1980, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005)

European Record: (set work/own choice)
1979: 4th overall – 6th/5th   
1980: 3rd overall – 2nd/5th
1984: 9th overall – 5th/13th
1987: 9th overall – 9th/8th
1988: 9th overall – 7th/10th
1990: 4th overall – 3rd/8th
1994: 8th overall – 7th/8th
1999: 3rd overall – 3rd/5th
2001: 3rd overall – 2nd/2nd
2002: 5th overall – 6th/5th

Geo Pierre Moren conducted between 1979 and 1988, then gave way to Richard Evans for 1990 and 1994. Peter Parkes was at the helm for 1999, 2001 and 2002, before the original MD returned for this year.

Own choice works used:
1979: John O'Gaunt
1980: Judges of the Secret Court
1984: James Cook - Circumnavigator
1987: Dances and Arias
1988: Land of the Long White Cloud
1990: Dances and Arias
1994: Partita
1999: Between the Moon and Mexico
2001: Cambridge Variations
2002: Harmony Music

Best Performance: 3rd in 1980, 1999 and 2001
Last Year: DNQ

Geo-Pierre MorenConductor: Geo-Pierre Moren
We have no biography details on the Musical Director.

Norway flagStavanger – Norway
Allan Withington

Principal Cornet: Odin Hagen
Principal Euph: Sindre Skjøld
Principal Trombone: Alexander Lindboe
Soprano: Espen Westbye
Flugel: Elisabeth Aarrestad
Horn: Håvard Bøe
Eb Tuba: Pål Magne Austnes

4BR Ranking: 47

European Appearances: 7th time
(1982, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2004, 2005)

European Record: (set work/own choice)
1982: 5th overall – 8th/ 3rd
1985: 5th overall – 6th/ 2nd
1986: 5th overall – 7th/ 5th
1993: 9th overall – 7th/ 8th
1996: 9th overall – 7th/ 10th 
2004: 10th overall – 9th/10th

Performances have been directed by K. Larsen in 1982, 1985 and 1986. Richard Evans directed the band in 1993 and Garry Cutt in 1996. Steve Bastable directed in 2004 and Allan Withington directs this time.

Own choice works used:
1982: Fantasy for Brass Band
1985: Dances and Arias
1986: Contest Music
1993: English Heritage
1996: Essence of Time
2004: …Dove Descending

Best Performance: 5th place overall in 1982, 1985 and 1986
Last Year: 10th place overall

Conductor: Allan Withington
Allan Withington

Allan Withington is one of the nicest conductors in the banding world as well as being one of the most successful.  His playing career saw him play Principal Cornet at many of the top bands in the country including Wingates and Fodens, whilst he currently the Principal Trumpet of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He studied at Salford College under the tuition of Roy Newsome and has also played for the London Symphony Orchestra.

His conducting career really blossomed when he took over the role of Musical Director of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band and in his long association with them he led them to two National titles, three All England Masters titles, a European success and two Yorkshire titles. He was appointed Musical Director of the Williams Fairey band in 2002 and led them to the National title later that year and repeated the feat twelve months later.

He has lived in Norway for many years and has been one of the most successful conductors in their banding scene leading firstly winning three National 2nd Division titles in a row with Tertnes twice and Krohnengen once between 1984 and 1986 before winning the Elite title in 2002 with Manger. In 2004 he directed the Fairey FP Music Band at the Championships.

Belgium flagBrass Band Willebroek - Belgium
Frans Violet

Principal Cornet: Raf Van Looveren
Principal Euph: Stef Pillaert
Principal Trombone: Walter Hoecks
Soprano: Bert Van Thienen
Flugel: Kristien Schuurmans
Horn: Stijn Berbe
EbTuba: Stefan Moeskops

4BR Ranking: 16

European Appearances: 14th time
(1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)

European Record: (set work/own choice)
1986: 8th overall – 5th/ 10th
1987: 5th overall – 2nd/ 9th
1988: 7th overall – 8th/ 7th
1990: 10th overall - 10th/ 8th
1991: 4th overall - 6th/ 1st
1992: 4th overall – 4th/ 5th
1993: 1st overall – 5th/ 2nd
1994: 6th overall – 2nd/ 9th
1995: 3rd overall – 2nd/ 5th
2000: 7th overall – 7th/ 7th
2002: 2nd overall – 2nd/ 3rd
2003: 3rd overall – 3rd/ 3rd 
2004: 2nd overall – 3rd/3rd

All performances have been directed by Frans Violet.

Own Choice works used:
1986: Fantasy for Brass Band
1987: Pageantry
1988: The Year of the Dragon
1990: Frontier
1991: Variations on an Enigma
1992: Partita
1993: Variations on an Enigma
1994: Harmony Music
1995: Sea Pictures 
2000: Between the Moon and Mexico
2002: …Dove Descending
2003: …Dove Descending
2004: Montage

Best Performance: Winners 1993
Last Year: 2nd place overall

Frans VioletConductor: Frans Violet

Frans Violet was born in 1954. At the age of 8, he started musical studies at the Music Academies of Boom and Willebroek.

He graduated at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp gaining first prices and diplomas for solfège, trumpet, piano and chamber music. In 1972 he started his professional career as a trumpet soloist in the "Muntschouwburg" (Brussels opera). After a few years he joined the Symphonic Orchestra of the Belgian Radio and Television.

His love for brass band music was behind his decision in 1984 to leave all orchestral work behind him and to concentrate on teaching. Since then Frans Violet has given full attention to BBW and to his pupils at the Music Academy of Willebroek. In 1990 he was appointed professor at the Lemmens Institute of Leuven for the course "HAFABRA" (Wind band - Fanfare band and brass band) and in 1993 he started a course for soft brass instruments at the Royal Music Conservatoire of Antwerp.

Denmark flagBrass Band Lyngby Taarbaek – Denmark
Ray Farr

Principal Cornet: Connie Trolle
Principal Euph: Bo Bollmann
Principal Trombone: Steffan Maersk
Soprano: Lars Haedersdal
Flugel: Stanley Westh
Horn: Lisbeth Joergensen
Eb Tuba: Charlie Soerensen

4BR Ranking: 45

European Appearances: 5th time
(1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005)

European Record:
1997: 9th overall - 8th/ 10th
1998: 11th overall – 11th/ 10th 
2003: 9th overall – 9th/ 9th
2004: 5th overall – 4th/8th

The performances of 1997, 1998 and 2003 were directed by Jesper Juul Sorensen. Ray Farr conducted in 2004 and again will conduct in 2005.

Own Choice works used:
1997:  An Epic Symphony
1998:  Fantasy for Brass Band
2003:  Montage
2004: …Dove Descending

Best Performance: 5th place in 2004
Last Year: 5th place overall

Ray FarrConductor: Ray Farr

Ray Farr (b. 1948) was educated at the Birmingham School of Music and at the Royal Academy of Music. After 10 years as a professional musician with the BBC Radio Orchestra he started his career as a conductor.

He has appeared in hundreds of concerts around the world and in some of the finest concert halls and has gained a reputation as a stylish conductor and a planner of interesting concert programmes ranging from light music to "avant-garde". He is equally adept in Classical and modern music and has conducted opera, ballet and oratorio. In 1988 he won a special Arts Council Award to study contemporary music with Edward Gregson and Jorma Panula, Professor of Orchestral Conducting at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy.

He has conducted at many important and has made several L.P.'s, C.D.s and T.V. appearances. He has appeared with BBC Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Sandnes Symphony Orchestra and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in an exciting concert of French music.

Today, he is a busy, freelance conductor, based back in the UK and now as Musical Director of the Reg Vardy Band and heading an exciting new music course at Durham University.

Wales flagBuy As You View Cory
Dr. Robert Childs

Principal Cornet: Ian Williams
Principal Euph: David Childs
Principal Trombone: Christopher Thomas
Soprano: Michelle Ibbotson
Flugel: Joanne Dean
Horn: Owen Farr
Eb Tuba: Gavin Saynor

4BR Ranking: 3

European Appearances: 16th time
(1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005)

European Record: (set work/ own choice)
1979: 2nd overall – 3rd/ 3rd
1980: 1st overall – 1st/ 2nd
1981: 6th overall – N/K
1982: 2nd overall – 3rd/ 2nd
1983: 3rd overall – 7th/ 2nd
1984: 2nd overall – 3rd/ 2nd
1985: 2nd overall – 4th/ 1st 
1986: 3rd overall – 3rd/ 4th
1987: 8th overall – 8th/ 7th
1989: 3rd overall – 1st/ 4th
1993: 3rd overall – 3rd/ 4th
1999: 5th overall – 5th/ 4th
2001: 2nd overall – 1st/ 3rd
2003: 2nd overall – 2nd/ 1st
2004: 6th overall – 6th/7th 

Denzil Stephens directed the band between 1979 and 1981. Major Arthur Kenney directed from 1982 to 1987. Brian Howard took them in 1989, Michael Antrobus in 1993 and Jeremy Wise in 1999. Since 2001 they have been directed here by DR. Robert Childs. 

Own Choice works used:
1979: Judges of the Secret Court
1980: Triumphant Rhapsody
1981: Connotations
1982: Fireworks
1983: Variations on a Ninth
1984: Contest Music
1985: Dances and Arias
1986: Ballet for Band
1987: Dances and Arias
1989: Diversions on a Bass Theme
1993: Harmony Music
1999: Of Men and Mountains
2001: Harrison's Dream
2003: Revelation
2004: Revelation

Denzil Stephens directed the performances of 1979, 1980 and 1981. Arthur Kenney directed the performances of 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. Brian Howard conducted in 1989. Michael Antrobus led their attempt in 1993, whilst Jeremy Wise conducted in 1999. Robert Childs has directed the performances since 2001. 

Best Performance: Winners 1980
Last Year: 6th place overall

Robert ChildsConductor:

Dr. Robert Childs is an associate of the RCM, a Fellow of the LCM and gained a distinction in a Masters Degree from the University of Leeds. He also holds a PGC in Education from the Open University.

His status as a professional musician encompasses many fields of music making. He is Director of Brass Band Studies at the WCMD, Professor of Euphonium at the RNCM and the University of Leeds. He is a tutor and council member to the National Youth Bands of Wales and Great Britain and is also a council member of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain. He has recently been appointed Conductor of the NYBB of Belgium. He is also an experienced record producer and director of Doyen Recordings.

He conducted and performed with Black Dyke Band for almost ten years and conducted them on several important occasions. He has also performed with many of the UK's leading orchestras.

In 2000, he became the MD of the Buy As You View Cory Band and won the British Open Championship, the National Championship and runner-up at the European Championship in a single season. In 2002, he became MD to the NYBB of Wales. In 2002, he was awarded the title 'Doctor of Musical Arts' from the University of Leeds. 


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