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2018 European Championships
Challenge Section - As it happened

All the action from the 2018 European Championships — Challenge Section — as it happened.

Saturday 5, 21:45:57

Results:

Challenge Section:

Adjudicators:
Jan de Haan, Joseph Parasi, Ian Porthouse

Test Piece: Mystic Echoes (Hendrik de Boer) & Own Choice Programme

1. Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila): 94
2. Gota (Michael Thomsen): 90 *
3. Badische (Dominik Koch): 88
4. Sunday Brass (Tadas Sileika): 84
5. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks) 82

Best Soloist: Francesco Crevello (cornet) — Italian Brass Band
*denotes 1 point deducted for surpassing the limit of total playing time


Saturday 5, 11:21:13

Challenge Section:

Steven Mead: Final Graded Places

185pts Gota (Michael Thomsen)
184pts Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila)
172pts Badische (Dominik Koch)
169pts Sunday Brass (Tadas Sileika)
167pts Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)


Saturday 5, 10:55:27

Challenge Section

5. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)

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In Performance: Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)

Toccata e Fantasia (Thomas Doss) — Laganvale is the only band to open with their own choice test and Thomas Doss's Toccata is full of eastern promise. It's also pretty challenging on the soloists and there are early signs of strain as some individual entries don't quite come off. And that has set something of a marker for the rest of the performance as inconsistencies occasionally mar what is otherwise a committed and dynamic reading of the score.

Mystic Echoes — The opening isn't as rhythmically taut as some this morning and the quieter passages expose some uncomfortable moments of tuning along with further individual slips that sadly get in the way of the music. And that error count continues to mount as fatigue also sets in as the performance reaches a somewhat tired conclusion.

Christopher Thomas

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Conductor — Stephen Crooks: Laganvale (Metal Technology)


Criteria Mark Sheet
Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 15
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding: 17
Total musicality from the band: 17

Total: 167

Short Comment:
Another enjoyable show which just faded as we well on. Some impressive big full band sounds and lots of character displayed. The error count just started to become a distraction. More clarity/transparency needed too. Tuning was an issue as we neared the close. Still, a performance to be proud of with some fine individual playing too.

Steven Mead


Saturday 5, 10:36:30

All the colours under the sun...

We catch up with Lloydd Shipp of Your Logo Here to find out a bit more about the question of brass band branding...


Saturday 5, 10:22:11

Challenge Section

4. Gota Brass Band (Michael Thomsen)

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In Performance: Gota Brass Band (Michael Thomsen)

Mystic Echoes — There are a few more people in the hall now and the bands participating in the challenge section deserve it. Although that could be down to a sudden influx of Swedes in viking helmets who are lending enthusiastic support to Gota Brass and righty so. Mystic Echoes opens well and despite one or two early slips recovers well. We don't quite hear the character of the shifting moods here as much as some but the error count is low, with the rhythmic playing so well done and an infectious spirit evident throughout.

Sinfonietta No.3 (Etienne Crausaz) — The cinematic sounds of the opening of the Sinfonietta are brought to life well and again there is spirit in abundance. The cumulative energy of the opening movement builds impressively and the transition into the central movement well handled. Glowing sounds evident and solo contributions are secure. Well done solo euphonium! This is such engaging playing. The final movement progresses with dynamism and its a superb ending to great show.

Christopher Thomas

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Conductor — Michael Thomsen: Gota Brass Band


Criteria Mark Sheet
Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding: 18
Total musicality from the band: 19

Total: 185

Short Comment:
Some gorgeously pure yet rich sounds from the Swedish band, quite a revelation. Some excellent technique on display, and assured soloists, and the most homogenous and well organised sound. Could just take the honours today, but it's very close between the top two.

Steven Mead


Saturday 5, 09:48:16

The question and answer of registration...

We meet up with the registration team to find out exactly what the process is behind playing at the European Championships...


Saturday 5, 09:42:41

Meeting up with Yamaha...

We speak to Yamaha about their involvement in the European contest


Saturday 5, 09:40:14

Challenge Section

3. Badische Brass Band (Dominik M. Koch)

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In Performance Badische Brass Band (Dominik M. Koch)

Mystic Echoes — Another fine opening to the set test and again, this is playing of such energy and enthusiasm. Tuning issues do get in the way at times and there are one or two nasty little moments along the way, but the stylistic elements of the score, allied with the grasp of the music by the MD impress throughout.

Spectrum (Gilbert Vinter) — What joy! Vinter's Spectrum gets a spirited airing from the Germans who launch into the music with an engaging passion and drive. The quiet passages in particular do expose a degree of frailty with exposed individual entries not always consistent in execution and ensemble not always as pristine as it could be but the colours are found with aplomb and there is a dark sense of drama at play as the music approaches its final triumphant flourish from the depths.

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Conductor — Dominik M. Koch: Badische Brass Band


Criteria Mark Sheet
Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding: 18
Total musicality from the band: 17

Total: 172

Short Comment:
A very fine performance from Badische BB, but the touch inconsistent at times. At the best it was really majestic and thrilling, but rather too many insecure moments, especially in the set work. Spectrum stretched them, but they did a really first class job nonetheless.

Steven Mead


Saturday 5, 09:04:16

Challenge Section

2. Sunday Brass (Tadas Sileika)

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In Performance — Sunday Brass (Tadas Sileika)

Mystic Echoes — A committed opening from a very young band and this is impressive playing. There are just the occasional clips and minor intonation issues but the MD shapes the music so well and we are hearing bags of atmosphere and enthusiasm from the players. The shifting moods associated with the oscillation of major/minor chords and drawn from Scriabin's 'Prometheus chord' are expertly handled and despite a few flaws, this is a performance of so much spirit.

Vivat! (Tom Davoren) The exuberant spirit, energy and celebratory sounds of Tom Davoren's Vivat! make it a great piece for an early morning start. This is being played with so much verve and commitment from the Lithuanian's and although not all of the detail is heard with absolute clarity the enthusiasm is totally infectious. And what a great ending from a band that has come on in leaps and bounds since last year's contest.There can be no greater reason for the European Championship to head to Lithuania than this.

Christopher Thomas

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Conductor — Tadas Sileika: Sunday Brass


Criteria Mark Sheet
Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 17
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Overall understanding: 17
Total musicality from the band: 16

Total: 169

Short Comment:
Take a bow Sunday Brass from Lithuania! It's the best sounding brass band I've heard from this country, and a testament to the remarkable development that happening with brass bands there. Growing maturity, a full sound, confident soloists and great team spirit. A young band with absolutely massive potential.

Steven Mead


Saturday 5, 08:33:53

Challenge Section

1. Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila)

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In Performance — Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila)

Set Test: Mystic Echoes — The defending champion Italian Brass Band has the dubious honour of taking to the stage as band number one whilst giving the first performance of Hendrik de Boer's intriguing, Scriabin inspired test piece. And what a premiere it is! This is a band with a fabulous sound allied with a technique to match and they lap this up in style giving us a truly 'mystical' performance laced with atmosphere and dark undercurrents. The Championship Section surely awaits.

Own Choice: Red Earth (Roland Wiltgen) — A great opening and the marvellous Italian band sound once again comes into it's own here. The music is vivid and cinematic in style and we certainly hear drama but we also hear so much detail through the band with careful attention to balance and transparency. Fine soloists complete a very impressive early morning show from the defending champion with playing of vivid excitement and character.

Christopher Thomas

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Conductor — Filippo Cangiamila: Italian Brass Band


Criteria Mark Sheet
Marks by Steven Mead

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Overall understanding: 19
Total musicality from the band: 19

Total: 184

Short Comment:
What a fantastic start to the day with this mature sounding majestic performance. Outstanding soloists, cultured and flexible band sound delivered with great Italian style. This band needs to be in the championship section!

Steven Mead


Saturday 5, 08:10:08

Draw:

Challenge Section:

Test Piece: Mystic Echoes (Hendrik de Boer) & Own Choice Programme
Grote Zaal, TivoliVredenburg
Draw: 12.30pm Friday 4th May
Commence: 9.00am (local time)

Adjudicators:Jan de Haan, Joseph Parasi, Ian Porthouse

1. Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila)
2. Sunday Brass (Tadas Sileika)
3. Badische (Dominik Koch)
4. Gota (Michael Thomsen)
5. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)



Black Dyke Band - St Wilfrid's Church, Harrogate

Saturday 1 September • Duchy Rd, Harrogate HG1 2EY


The Fairey Band - Pre-British Open concert

Sunday 2 September • Glossop Bandroom. Derby St, Glossop SK13 8LP SK13 8LP


Contest: 166th British Open

Saturday 8 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Black Dyke Band - Brass on Sunday Gala Concert, Birmingham

Sunday 9 September • Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA


St Pinnock Brass Band - SCRYFA & Minack in "The Third Light"

Monday 10 September • The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance,. Cornwall TR19 6JU


Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band

August 20 • Shirebrook Band (1st section) under our new MD Jim Henson are currently seeking a Bb Bass and 2nd Baritone. Join the Shirebrook Team with our successful concerts and rewarding contest appearances.


Blidworth Welfare Band

August 20 • *PERCUSSIONIST* A great opportunity has arisen for a percussion player to join one of the UK's most upwardly mobile Championship section bands. The successful candidate will join the band at an exciting time in its development.


Blidworth Welfare Band

August 20 • *2nd/3rd CORNET* A great opportunity has arisen for a back row cornet player to join one of the UK's most upwardly mobile Championship section bands. The successful candidate will join the band at an exciting time in its development.


Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator