2010 Norwegian National Championships - First Division preview and prediction


4BR casts its eye over the 12 bands hoping to make the step up and join the Elite bands in Norway this weekend.

Greig hallFirst Division:
Adjudicators: Jens T. Larsen & Gavin David Lee
Saturday 6th February (9.00)

Not for the first time with the 1st Division, Norway shows the rest of the banding world just how the ideal model for brass band contesting should be set up. 


Here are 12 quality bands that are currently one step below true Elite level; reputation counts for nothing. It is talent that speaks loudest.

The process of promotion and relegation to and from the Elite Section is transparent. Have a good result and up you go. Bag a stinker and the Elite trap door opens.

There is a method by which bands can try their luck and request that they remain or gain entry to the Elite level of banding (Sola Brass being the case this year at this level. Tromso were promoted by two sections to the 1st Division) – a musical appeal tribunal if you like. It may sound a little cumbersome but it does work.


What it does make for is a 1st Division that contains a host of quality bands (nearly all as good as the vast majority of ‘Championship’ outfits in the UK) and ones that have a clear understanding of just where they really stand.

Ambition comes by the bucket load: What else would explain choices as diverse as ‘Eden’, ‘Blitz’, ‘Harrison’s Dream’, ‘Journey into Freedom’ and ‘The Essence of Time’?


Take Jaren and Sandefjord for instance. Both would more than comfortably survive in top section banding in the UK (and produced accomplished performances at the Elite contest last year), but following relegation battle it out at a level where they can really excel.  

Jaren  Hornmusikkforening came 9th last year with a typically idiosyncratic performance of ‘Paganini’ under Helge Haukas, and 8th at SIDDIS. They will be one of the favourites for a speedy return to the Elite level as this year they have also employed Foden’s MD, Garry Cutt.

Could it be that their choice of ‘The Promised Land’ will be more than just a musical coincidence? 


So too Sandefjord, who rather bowed to the inevitable last year and were relegated after coming 10th, although not before they put in a decent showing on ‘Tristan Encounters’.

7th at SIDDIS showed that things could by back on track for a quick Elite return, and they have also opted for a MD who knows just what it takes to bag a victory or two – Dave Roberts from Rothwell. ‘Eden’ is their ambitious own choice selection.

With Tertnes and Sola promoted, Askoy will be looking to push for promotion after coming 3rd last year. Their performance of ‘English Heritage’ would certainly have been a contender in many Championship Area contests in the UK this year, so if they can build on that and draw further confidence from their win at SIDDIS, then who knows? Can they ‘Blitz’ the opposition to give them victory under the experienced baton of Yngve Nikolaisen?


Jolster also produced a delicately shaped showing last year on ‘Ballet for Band’, and will be keen to continue their recent impressive record under the baton of Arvid Anthum. This year they have opted for Eric Ball’s ‘A Kensington Concerto’, which played havoc with the Elite bands here just a few years ago.  

There is always interest around the ambitious Tomra. They have recovered after their administrative relegation in 2007, and should be a band to look out for under Frans Violet. They came 5th last year and this time have opted for ‘Rococo Variations’, a piece last heard testing the very best at the British Open in 2008.

Sorum and Christian Tenfjord were 6th last year with a sterling effort on the massive ‘Dove Descending’, but showed that they could be in the hunt once again after coming 3rd at SIDDIS. ‘Harrisons Dream’ is an ambitious choice, but could sink the opposition if played very well. 


Another confident band that comes will be Tertnes Amatorkorps. They only managed 9th last year, but showed form by coming runner up in the 1st Division at Grenland. Former Eikanger euphonium star, Tormod Flaten takes the helm whilst they have opted for ‘The Essence of Time’ as their own choice selection.

Kleppe Musikklag was a worthy winner of the 3rd Division title last year with a superb performance of ‘Tallis Variations’ under Russell Gray. Just one year in the lower section and they returned with a bang, although they may want to improve on the 8th place they managed at SIDDIS if they are to challenge this weekend. Bjorn Breistein takes the baton on ‘Paganini Variations’.


The other promoted band from the 2nd Division is the local Alexander Brass, a joyful bunch of players (and conductor in Morten E Hansen) who journey up and down the sections depending very much on their philosophy of banding enjoyment first, contest success second.  7th at SIDDIS may be an indicator of their current form, but they will want to show their class on the Eric Ball classic ‘Journey into Freedom’.

The two bands that ended up in joint 7th place last year will be looking for a better return this time around. Kopervik Musikkorps delivered an excitable ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ last time around, so will be hoping to build on that.

Melvin White ventures out from the confines of the M25 motorway around London to make a welcome return here as he leads the band on another ‘Journey’ test piece – this time Eric Ball’s one in search of freedom.


Meanwhile, Laksevag opted for the solid serenity of ‘Tallis Variations’ last and the vastly experienced Tom Brevik will be looking to make a mark with ‘Paganini Variations’. They also showed decent form in coming 6th at SIDDIS.

That just leaves Tromso, and the 2009 3rd Division champion has used the ‘appeal process’ to be placed here. They were fine value for their ambition last year on Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen’s intriguing ‘Myte’, and they have shown that again with Philip Wilby’s ‘Paganini’. They could be a bit of a dark horse.

As for victors?

On paper it looks to be a battle between Sandefjord, Jaren and Askoy, but we don’t wish to discount the likes of Tomra, Jolster and Sorum. That dark horse of ours is Tromso.  
4BR Prediction:
1. Sandefjord Brass Symposium
2. Jaren Hornmusikkforening
3. Askoy
4. Tomra
5. Jolster
6. Sorum

Dark horse: Tromso

Alexander Brass Band
Morten E Hansen

2010 Draw: 11
Own Choice Selection: Journey into Freedom

National Record:
2009: 2nd in 3rd Division (Morten E Hansen) (prom)
2008: 3rd (Sverre Stakston Olsrud)
2007: 11th in First Section (Morten E. Hansen) (rel)
2006: 5th (Morten E. Hansen)
2005: 9th (Morten E. Hansen)
2004: =5th (Morten E. Hansen)
2003: 10th in Elite Division  (Morten Hansen) (rel)
2002: Winners of First Division (prom)
2001: Winners of Second Division (prom)
2000: 8th in Second Division
1999: 11th in First Division (rel)
1998: 7th in First Division
1997: Winners of Second Division (prom)
1996: 3rd in Second Division
1995: Winners of Third Division (prom)

Overall Record:
Winners of First Division 2002
Winners of Second Division 2001, 1997
Winners of Third Division 1995

Last Year: 2nd in 3rd Division (promoted)

Own Choice Selection:
2009: The Saga of Haakon the Good
2008: Nautalis
2007: English Heritage
2006: Between the Two Rivers
2005: The Holy War

Askøy Brass Band
Yngve Nikolaisen

2010 Draw: 6
Own Choice Selection: Blitz

National Record:
2009: 3rd (Egil Magnussen)
2008: 9th (Egil Magnussen)
2007: =4th (Egil Magnussen)
2006: 6th (Helge Haukas)
2005: 3rd (Egil Magnussen)
2004: 3rd (Tom Brevik)
2003: 3rd
2002: 2nd in Second Division (prom)
2001: 6th
2000: 11th
1999: 3rd
1998: 7th
1997: 7th
1996: 2nd
1995: 7th
1994: 10th

Last Year:

Own Choice Selection:
2009: English Heritage
2008: Chivalry
2007: Partita
2006: Journey into Freedom
2005: Tallis Variations

Jaren Hornmusikkforening
Garry Cutt

2010 Draw: 4
Own Choice Selection: The Promised Land

National Record:
2009: 9th in Elite Division (Helge Haukås) (rel)
2008: 4th (Helge Haukås)
2007: Winners of First Division (Helge Haukås) (prom)
2006: 10th in Elite Division (Helge Haukås) (rel)
2005: 4th (Helge Haukås)
2004: 8th (Helge Haukås)
2003: 9th  (Helge Haukås)
2002: 9th  (Helge Haukås)
2001: 6th  (Helge Haukås)
2000: 2nd in First Division (N/K) (prom)
1999: 6th (B. Eklund)
1998: n/k  
1997: 9th in First Division (T. Elnes)
1996: 4th (T. Elnes)
1995: 3rd in Second Division (T. Elnes) (prom)

Overall Record:
First Division Winners 2007

Last Year:
9th overall in Elite Division: 8th on set work/ 9th on own choice

Own Choice Selection:
2009: Paganini Variations
2008: Elgar Variations
2007: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2006: Montage
2005: Ballet for Band
2004: English Heritage
2003: Riffs and Interludes
2002: Klang! – Orjan Matre

Jølster Musikklag
Arvid Anthun

2010 Draw: 8
Own Choice Selection: A Kensington Concerto

National Record:
2009: 4th (Arvid Anthun)
2008: =7th (Arvid Anthun)
2007: Winners of Second Division (Arvid Anthun) (prom)
2006: Winners of Third Division (Arvid Anthun) (prom)
2005: 4th (Arvid Anthun)
2004: 2nd in Fourth Division (Arvid Anthun) (prom)
2003: 9th in Third Division (rel)
2002: 7th
2001: 4th
2000: 6th

Overall Record:
Second Division winners 2007
Third Division winners 1993, 2006

Last Year: 4th

Own Choice Selections:
2009: Ballet for Band
2008: Pageantry
2007: The Lord is King
2006: Voyage of Discovery
2005: Nautalis

Kleppe Musikklag
Bjorn E. Breistein

2010 Draw:
Own Choice Selection: Paganini Variations

National Record:

2009: Winners of 2nd Division (Russell Gray) (prom)
2008: 10th in First Division (Russell Gray) (rel)
2007: 3rd (Russell Gray)
2006: 3rd (Eirik Gjerdevik)
2005: 4th (Eirik Gjerdevik)
2004: =5th (Eirik Gjerdevik)
2003: 6th
2002: 4th
2001: 12th
2000: 7th

Overall Record:
Second Division winners 1981, 2009

Last Year: Winners of 2nd Division (Russell Gray) (prom)  

Own Choice Selection:
2009: Tallis Variations
2008: Elgar Variations
2007: Dances and Alleluias
2006: English Heritage
2005: Chivalry

Kopervik Musikkorps:
Melvin White

2010 Draw: 10
Own Choice Selection: Journey into Freedom

National Record:
2009: =7th (Simon Dobson)
2008: 2nd in Second Division (Simon Dobson) (prom)
2007: 2nd in Third Division (John Philip Hannevik) (prom)
2006: Winners of Fourth Division (Selmer Simonsen) (prom)

Overall Record:
Winners Third Division 1989

Last Year:

Own Choice Selection:

2009: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2008: Tallis Variations
2007: Trittico
2006: Voyage of Discovery - Goff Richards

Laksevåg Musikkforening
Tom Brevik

2010 Draw: 7
Own Choice Selection: Paganini Variations

National Record:
2009: =7th (Tom Brevik)
2008: 11th (Tom Brevik)
2007: =4th (Tom Brevik)
2006: 4th in Third Division (Tom Brevik) (promoted to First Division)
2005: 3rd (Tom Brevik)
2004: 5th (Tom Brevik)
2003: 7th
2002: 12th in Second Division (rel)
2001: 6th in Second Division
2000: 2nd

Last Year: =7th

Own Choice Selections:

2009: Tallis Variations
2008: Festival Music
2007: A Kensington Concerto
2006: The Land of the Long White Cloud
2005: Salute to Youth

Sandefjord Brass Symposium
  David Roberts

2010 Draw: 5
Own Choice Selection: Eden

National Record:
2009: 10th in Elite Division (Michael Antrobus) (rel)
2008: 9th (Garry Cutt)
2007: 10th (Garry Cutt)
2006: 6th (Ray Farr)
2005: 3rd (Robert Childs)
2004: 6th (John Philip Hannevik)
2003: 3rd  (Garry Cutt)
2002: 6th (N/K)
2001: 4th  (Bryan Hurdley)
2000: Winners (Garry Cutt)
1999: 3rd  (Gareth Pritchard)
1998: Winners (Gareth Pritchard)
1997: 6th  (Gareth Pritchard)
1996: Winners of First Division (Gareth Pritchard) (prom)
1995: 3rd in First Division (Ray Farr)
1994: 3rd in First Division (Michael Antrobus)
1993: N/K
1992: 8th (N/K)

Overall Record:
Winners in 1998 and 2000
Winners First Division 1996

Last Year:
10th overall: 10th on set work/ 10th on own choice (relegated)

Own Choice Selection:
2009: Tristan Encounters
2008: Extreme Makeover
2007: Dances and Alleluias
2006: Music for the Moving Image
2005: St. Magnus
2004: Apocalypse
2003: Of Men and Mountains
2002: …Dove Descending

Sørum Musikklag
Christian Tenfjord

2010 Draw: 3
Own Choice Selection: Harrison’s Dream

National Record:
2009: 6th (Christian Tenfjord)
2008: 2nd (Christian Tenfjord)
2007: =8th (Christian Tenfjord)
2006: 2nd in Second Division (Erling J. Myrseth) (prom)
2005: 11th in First Division (Erling J. Myrseth)
2004: =7th (Trond Elnes)
2003: 7th
2002: 7th
2001: 2nd in 2nd Division
2000: Joint 5th in 2nd Division

Overall Record:
Winners of Third Division 1994

Last Year: 6th

Own Choice Selection:

2009: Dove Descending
2008: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2007: A Lowry Sketchbook
2006: Trittico
2005: Spectrum

Tertnes Amatørkorps
Tormod Flaten

2010 Draw: 1
Own Choice Selection: The Essence of Time

National Record:
2009: 9th (Martin Winter)
2008: =7th (Tormod Flaten)
2007: 2nd in Second Division (Tormod R. Flaten) (prom)
2006: 8th (Tormod Flaten)
2005: =4th (Tormod Flaten)
2004: 4th in Third Division (Tormod Flaten) (prom)
2003: Winners of Fourth Division (Tormod Falten) (prom)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Overall Record:
Winners of Fourth Section 2003

Last Year: 9th

Own Choice Selections:
2009: Pageantry
2008: Salute to Youth
2007: Coventry Variations
2006: Quintessence
2005: Rhapsody in Brass

Tomra Brass Band
Frans Violet

2010 Draw:
Own Choice Selection: Rococo Variations

National Record:
2009: 5th (Frans Violet)
2008: 3rd (Frans Violet)
2007: 4th in Elite Section (relegated due to admin error)
2006: Winners of First Division (Frans Violet) (prom)
2005: 2nd (Frans Violet)
2004: =7th (Arnfinn Dalhaug)
2003: 2nd
2002: 3rd
2001: 4th
2000: 8th in Elite Division (rel)
1999: Winners of First Division

Overall Record:
Winners of First Division 1993, 1999, 2006

Last Year: 5th

Own Choice Selection:
2009: Concertino for Brass Band
2008: Music of the Spheres
2007: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2006: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2005: Whitsun Wakes

Tromsø Brass
Tor Kristian Innbjor

2010 Draw: 2
Own Choice Selection: Paganini Variations

National Record:
2009: Winners of 3rd Division (Tor Kristian Innbjor) (double promoted)
2008: 12th (Robert Jensen)
2007: 11th in Second Division (Robert Jensen) (rel)
2006: 11th in First Section (Robert Jensen) (rel)
2005: 2nd in Second Division (Robert Jensen) (prom)
2004: 4th (Robert Jensen)
2003: 7th  
2002: 8th
2001: N/K
2000: 3rd

Overall Record:
Winners of Second Division 1998
Winners of Third Division 1990, 2009

Last Year: Winners of 3rd Division (Frans Violet) (double promoted)

Own Choice Selections:
2009: Myte
2008: Journey into Freedom
2007: Dances and Arias
2006: Babylonian Tablets
2005: Blitz

2009 Result:

1. Tertnes Brass ( Gary Peterson) - 97
2. Sola Brass Band (Selmer Simonsen) - 96
3. Askøy Brass Band (Egil Magnussen) - 94
4. Jølster Musikklag (Arvid Anthun) - 93
5. Tomra Brass Band (Frans Violet) - 92
6. Sørum Musikklag (Christian Tenfjord) - 91
7. Kopervik Musikkorps (Simon Dobson) - 90
7. Laksevåg Musikkforening (Tom Brevik) - 90
9. Tertnes Amatørkorps (Martin Winter) - 89
10.  Ørskog Brass (John Hudson) - 88
11. Oster Brass (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) - 87
12. Radøy Brass ( Tormod Flaten) - 86

Dommere: Karl Ole Midtbø, Cathrine Winnes Trevin


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