2008 Norwegian National Championships - Preview: Fourth Division


19 bands are set to take part in the Fourth Section as the growing stature of banding in the country bears fruit. The standard is improving and so are the ambitious choices of repertoire.

Geig HallFourth Division
Adjudicators: Paul Farr and Bjorn Sagstad

Saturday 9th February (9.00)

The lowest section in the Norwegian National Championships is an almost guaranteed delight – and one that this year sees no less than 19 bands take to the stage on the Saturday morning.

The sense of warm friendly rivalry is enhanced by a real feeling of support for all the competitors as they try their best to take the title. 

The hall is always packed, the compere is great (even if we can’t understand them) and everyone, including players of all ages and experience seem to enjoy it all.  Who can ask for more?

The choice of test pieces played by the bands is also varied and interesting and this year is no exception. From Dean Goffin’s ‘Rhapsody in Brass’ to ‘Call of the Cossacks’ with a bit of everything else thrown in for good measure. 

Some bands do bite off more than they can chew or course, but the sense of ambition and hunger for improvement is something to enjoy and not to be too overtly critical about.

Adjudicators Paul Farr and Bjorn Sagstad should be able to sit back and enjoy it all too although they will have a pretty tricky task in separating out the bands. After the rigours of the Elite bands on the Friday evening this contest is the perfect antidote.

Who will win though? Find out who we think is in with a chance at the bottom of the page. 

Brummund Nordaasen Musikkforening
Karsten Dalsrud 

National Record:
2007: 4th (Karsten Dalsrud)
2006: DNC
2005: 8th (Botolv Gjeldaker)
2004: 9th (Botolv Gjeldaker)
2003: 10th
2002: 13th
2001: DNC 
2000: DNC

Last Year: 4th

Own Choice Selections:
2007: Chorale and Variations
2006: DNC
2005: Inspiration

After a year away in 2006 Brummond returned last year to claim a very good fourth place with a fine performance of ‘Chorale and Variations’ by Leighton Lucas that featured a fine sense of style and an excellent solo cornet player.

More of that would be great under the direction of Karsten Dalsrud and they will be looking for a tip six finish at the very least we think.  

Fagernes Musikkorps
Odd Arne Erlandsen 

National Record:
2007: =8th (Tor Arthur Hagen)
2006: 7th in Third Section (Tor Arthur Hagen) (rel)
2005: Winners of Fourth Division (Tor Arthur Hagen)
2004: 13th in Third Division

Overall Record:
Winners of Fourth Division 2005
Winners of Third Division 1986

Last Year: =8th

Own Choice Selections:
2007: Music for a Festival
2006: The Plantagenets
2005: Triptych

Fagernes came 8th last year on their return back to the Fourth Division when their bold and assured performance of ‘Music for a Festival’ didn’t quite come off as they would have hoped on the day. 

Odd Arne Erlandsen takes over the baton this year and they will be looking to return to the type of form that gave them the title here in 2005.  

Flå Musikkorps
Odd Steinar Mørkved

National Record:
2007: =6th (Odd Steinar Mørkved)
2006: DNC
2005: 8th
2004: 8th
2003: 5th
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC 

Last Year: =6th

Own Choice:
2007: Northern Landscapes
2006: DNC

Flå delivered an enjoyable mature performance of ‘Northern Landscapes’ here last year that gained them a well deserved joint sixth place.

Much will depend on what their own choice selection will be under the direction of Odd Steinar Mørkved, but they will surely be looking to finish in the top six again at least. 

Frei Hornmusikk:
Stein Åge Sørlie 

National Record:
2007: 14th in Third Division (Stein Åge Sørlie/ John Hudson) (rel)
2006: 4th in Fourth Division (Stein Åge Sørlie) (prom)

Overall Record:
Winners of Third Division 2001

Last Year: 14th in Third Division

Own Choice Selection:
2007: Laudate Dominum
2006: Inspiration - Jan de Haan

Frei found life a little tough in the Third Division last year and fell back through the relegation trap door as a result, after their interpretation of Gregson’s ‘Laudate Dominum’ didn’t find favour with the judges.

Some remedial work is needed then from Stein Åge Sørlie and the team if they are to claim a second national title. Let’s hope they can do just that. 

Hetlevik Musikklag
Jan Arne Pupe 

National Record:
2007: 13th (Jan Arne Pupe)
2006: 12th (Jan Arne Pupe)

Last Year: 13th

Own Choice Selection:
2007: Triptych
2006: A Malvern Suite - Philip Sparke

Hetlevik Musikklag hasn’t really set the contest stage on fire here in the past two years, but Jan Arne Pupe will be looking to build on the fine performance at SIDDIS when the band came 4th.

A crafty choice of test piece could well see then do that if they can play to that type of form once more (and take on board the encouragement shown by the MD) and if they can take to the stage with a few more numbers in the ranks than were on display last year here.   

Hordvik Musikklag
Knut Emil Mjøs 

National Record:
2007: =8th (Knut Emil Mjøs)
2006: =6th (Knut Emil Mjøs)

Last Year: =8th 

Own Choice Selection:
2007: Laudate Dominum
2006: Triptych for Brass Band - Philip Sparke

Hordvik has delivered two solid enough performances here in the past two years under Knut Emil Mjøs and they will surely be looking for more of the same this time around. Their MD really did do an admirable job with limited playing resources last year.

The band came joint 7th at SIDDIS so there is certainly something to build upon for this weekend.   

Kaland/Lysefjorden Musikklag
Knut Harald Rydland

National Record:
2007: 5th (Oddvar Nøstdal)
2006: 15th (Oddvar Nøstdal)

Last Year: 5th

Own Choice Selection:
2007: Lydian Pictures
2006: A Salford Sinfonietta

If the results of the past two years are anything to go by Kaland could be celebrating big style on the weekend – they made a huge leap up the prize table last year with a well delivered performance of Simon Dobson’s ‘Lydian Pictures’ which featured some excellent ensemble playing and a cracking performance from their soprano player.  

Knut Harald Rydland takes over at the helm to see if he can steer the band towards the Third Division.   

Nes Musikkforening
Andres Halla

National Record:
2007: 13th in Third Division (Andres Halla) (rel)
2006: 11th (Andres Halla)
2005: 11th (Andres Halla)
2004: =8th (Andres Halla)
2003: 4th
2002: 6th
2001: 16th
2000: 14th

Last Year: 13th in Third Division 

Own Choice Selections:
2007: Ancient Monuments
2006: Firestorm
2005: Northern Landscapes  

After a couple of years when they had struggled to make a real impression in the Third Division, Nes finally fell through the relegation trap door last year after their performance of ‘Ancient Monuments’ didn’t make a mark on the judges.

The band came joint 12th at SIDDIS so perhaps Andreas Hallas will have to give his troops a bit of a confidence boost ahead of their appearance here. We wish them well.     

Rosendal Musikklag
Torstein Hatlevik 

National Record:
2007: 15th in Third Division (Jan Magne Olsen) (rel)
2006: 3rd in Fourth Division (Jan Magne Olsen) (prom)
2005: 14th (Michael Antrobus) (rel)
2004: Winners of Fourth Division (Yngve Nikolaisen) (prom)

Overall Record:
Winners of Fourth Division 2004 

Last Year: 15th in Third Division

Own Choice Selection:
2007: Sunset Rhapsody
2006: Essay for Brass Band
2005: Main Street

Rosendal have popped up and down between the Third and Fourth Divisions in recent years and found life tough in the higher division twelve months ago when their rather fraught interpretation of Eric Ball’s ‘Sunset Rhapsody’ didn’t quite cut the mustard.

Torstein Hatlevik takes over this year and he may have to work the band hard to make an impression after coming 15th at SIDDIS.  

Rudsbygd Brass
Grethe Berntsen

National Record:
2007: =6th (Botolv Gjeldaker)
2006: =12th (Grethe Berntsen)
2005: =12th (Grethe Berntsen
2004: =13th (Grethe Berntsen)

Last Year: =6th

Own Choice Selection:
2007: Anglian Dances
2006: Schattdorf Impressions / Country Scenes 

Rudsbygd has yet to make a real mark on the results here (with excellent basses and neat flugel a feature) but we think that’s of secondary importance to the young band that really did try their best on ‘Anglian Dances’ last year. 

Grethe Berntsen returns this time around to see if she can just push her charges a bit further up the table. Let’s hope she succeeds.  

Skeie GladBrass
Einar Mæland 

National Record:
2007: 10th (Einar Mæland)
2006: =6th (Einar Mæland)
2005: =6th (Einar Mæland)
2004: 5th (Einar Mæland)
2003: 12th in Third Division
2002: 8th
Last Year: 10th

Own Choice Selection:
2007: A Celtic Suite
2006: Kaleidoscope (Five Variations on the Brugg Song) - Philip Sparke

Steady as she goes for Skeie perhaps this time out after a super old showing on ‘A Celtic Suite’ last year (which featured a fine ensemble sound and top notch euph playing) could only gain them 10th place under the baton of Einar Mæland. They were unlucky. 

The band will be looking to push further towards the top of the prize list this time out we are sure and they put in a decent show at SIDDIS where they came joint 9th.    

Stavanger Kommunes Korps
Morten Ovrebekk 

National Record
2007: 11th (Morten Ovrebekk)
2006: DNC 

Own Choice Selection:
2007: A Saddleworth Festival Overture
2006: DNC

Stavanger put in a real old solid account of the very strange ‘A Saddleworth Festival Overture’ last year to claim 11th place under the direction of Morten Ovrebekk. It had lots of good moments in it with a fine flugel player a feature, but the work isn’t a good one and it failed to impress.

They may well fancy their chances of doing well here though after delivering a fine performance at SIDDIS to claim second place late last year.   

The following bands are either making their first appearance at the contest or are returning after a period away.

Fjell Brass
Svein Henrik Giske
The band came joint 7th at SIDDIS late last year.

Flora-Bremanger Brass Band
Johnny Saelemyr

Floro Hornmusikk
Kjell Erik Husom

Hof Hornmusikk
Truls Sanaker

Manger Old Stars
Johannes Mangersnes

Last competed year in 2005 when they came 2nd in the Fourth Division. Recently won the Fourth Division title in fine style at SIDDIS.

Randaberg Musikkorps
Marcel Sorin Totolici

The band came 16th at SIDDIS late last year

Torkangerpoll Musikklag
Eirik Gjerdevik

Won the Third Division title here in 1999 

Test Piece Selections:
A.   Anglian Dances (Fernie)    
B.   The Kingdom Triumphant (Ball)    
C.   Gothic Dances  (Fernie) 
D.   Partita for Brass (Gregson)    
E.    Rhapsody in Brass (Goffin)    
F.    St. Austell Suite (Downie)   
G.   The Saga of Haakon the Good (Sparke)     
H.   Partita for Brass (Gregson)    
I.    Fanfare and Variations (Barry)   
J.    Images for Brass (Bulla)    
K.   Triptych for Brass Band (Sparke)     
L.   The Lord is King (Steadman-Allen)     
M.   Harmonius Variations (Langford)
N.   Anglian Dances  (Fernie)
0.   Call of the Cossacks (Graham)
P.   Laudate Dominum (Gregson)
Q.   Reflections (Brakstad)
R.   To Serve and to Save (Bright)
S.   Kaleidoscope (Sparke)     

2007 Result: 

1. Langhus Brass (Idar Torskangerpoll) - 93
2. Kjølsdalen Musikklag (Arvid Anthun) - 92
3. Lismarka/Mesnali Brass (Morten Fagerjord) - 91
4. Brumund Nordaasen Musikkforening (Karsten Dalsrud) - 90
5. Kaland/Lysefjorden Musikklag (Oddvar Nøstdal) - 89
=6. Flå Musikkorps (Odd Steinar Mørkved) - 88
=6. Rudsbygd Brass (Botolv Gjeldaker) - 88
=8. Fagernes Musikkorps (Tor Arthur Hagen) - 87
=8. Hordvik Musikklag (Knut Emil Mjøs) - 87
10. Skeie Gladbrass (Einar Mæland) - 86
11. Stavanger Kommunes Korps (Morten Øvrebekk) - 85
12. Lalm Musikkforening (Morten Graff) - 84
13. Hetlevik Musikklag (Jan Arne Pupe) - 83

Soloist prize; Trombone, Langhus Brass
Best section: Percussion, Kjølsdalen Musikklag 

4BR Prediction: 

Who will win?

Well, to tell you the truth, we haven't a clue, although that has never stopped us in the past. So here we go.

The return of Manger Old Stars could well signal another delightful showing from them that should in all honesty be good enough to take the title. For a band of players who perhaps no longer want the hassle of top class banding they do a remarkable job of keeping their lips in shape. 

Behind them it could be a close call between any number of contenders with Stavanger Kommunes Koprs and Hetlevik perhaps in line to take the other podium places. Kaland showed plenty of good form last year and may do well again whilst Fjell showed well at SIDDIS and could make a mark with Brummond also in the mix. Our dark horse is Nes Musikkforening.

1. Manger Old Stars
2. Stavanger Kommunes Koprs
3. Hetlevik Musikklag
4. Kaland/Lysefjorden Musikklag
5. Fjell Brass
6. Brummund Musikkforening

Dark Horse: Nes Musikkforening


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