The Festival Brass Band from Belgium has told 4BR that they are looking forward to the 2020 season under MD Steven Verhaert with a combined sense of expectation and ambition.
The band has emerged from a period of transition with the hope that it can once again return to the very top of the nation's contesting movement.
2019 saw them moving back in that direction, winning the Dutch Open title while they ended the year by coming runner-up for the second successive year at the National Championships in Heist-op-den-Berg.
The band has now added further playing experience to their ranks with the signing of Besson artist, Gilles Demeurisse as their new solo euphonium.
Gilles studied under Geert Verschaeve, Nick Ost and Frank Vantroye in gaining a Master in Executive Music from the Royal Conservatory of Ghent. In 2011 he was awarded first place in the prestigious Dexia Classics Contest and went on to become solo euphonium of the 2014 European Youth Brass Band in Scotland.
In 2015 was a featured soloist at the Royal Albert Hall in winning the London Grand Prize Virtuoso prize and today performs as a freelance musician with the likes of the Royal Belgian Airforce Band, the Royal Belgian Navy Band and the Flanders Opera.
Gilles is joined by Ward Dierick on soprano cornet.
The 19 year old has studied classical trumpet with Steven Devolder at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent.
Also a talented composer and conductor, in 2019 he was awarded first place in a soloist competition organised by the Belgian Brass Academy and had the opportunity to play with the European Youth Brass Band in Montreux.
Festival Brass is very fortunate to give these talented musicians the opportunity to shine at the highest level. We have the ambition to go with our realistic expectations starting with the Flemish Open Championships in AprilFestival Brass
A band spokesperson told 4BR: "Festival Brass Band is very fortunate to give these talented musicians the opportunity to shine at the highest level. This has also seen us appoint Nick Van Elsen as our Composer in Residence.
We have the ambition to go with our realistic expectations starting with the Flemish Open Championships in April."