2008 European Brass Band Championships - EBBA Conference


Malcolm Wood reports on the EBBA Conference which saw a number of exciting ideas starting to bear fruit.

 Ulf Rosenberg
Traditional approach? Appearances may be deceptive for EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg

The opening conference of the European Brass Band Championships was an opportunity for those in attendance to discover more about Stavanger 2008, EBBA’s EU Application and how banding has been used as a tool to integrate immigrant communities into Norwegian life.

Stavanger is EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg’s home, and he gave an excellent presentation on how the European Capital of Culture in conjunction, with the Norwegian Music Federation and EBBA, had tapped into the various resources available to promote the Championships.

Connecting to the community

For Ulf, the key to success was being able to connect with everyone in the community; music is extremely important to the Norwegians and it will be a focal point for the celebrations during 2008. 

Substantial funds were made available from a variety of sources to help towards the EBBC, and it was all achieved following successful lobbying behind the scenes with generous benefactors – all keen to be seen to be playing a part visualising the commercial benefits to the City of Stavanger for the whole of the year – and not just this for this competition.


EBBA is ambitious for the future and it is currently awaiting news on an EU application that was delivered late last year to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, entitled ‘Wind of Change’.  If the application is successful (and there are over 70 applications vying for funds) then it will open up opportunities for member countries to look a variety of ways in which a brass band culture can be developed.

News was originally anticipated in February but is now expected some time in May – the final outcome will be distributed via the usual media outlets.

Joy of Music

Sissel Larsen, the project leader of the Norwegian Music Federation’s Integration programme has worked tirelessly to encourage immigrants to play brass instruments with overwhelming success. 

Through the Joy of Music, this initiative has seen people from different backgrounds and culture join together and unite in something they enjoy.  Again funding is key and although it is early days the model that has been put in place is one that other EBBA member countries will no doubt look at closely with the aim of replicating the tremendous success.

Malcolm Wood


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