There was a pioneering musical spirit on show at the recent Japanese Brass Band Ensemble National Championship in Tokyo.
The event was hosted by the Salvation Army of Japan at the Yamamuro Gumpei Memorial Hall and was the culmination of a series of earlier qualification rounds.
Makoto Sekiya, Vice-President of the Japanese Brass Band Directors Association told 4BR that the event was a great success, and continues to build on the remarkable work undertaken by the likes of Prof Takeo Yamamoto in building a sustainable brass band movement in the country — one which boasts over 26,000 wind bands.
There was a full day of competition to enjoy, with the Championship Section title claimed by the Tokyo Brass Society Quartet with their exemplary performance of Gilbert Vinter's 'Elegy & Rondo'.
Seven ensembles took part, with the podium places taken by Setakoma Band playing, 'Little Swiss Suite', and the wonderfully named Fish & Chips group with 'Hymn for the Sky and Heavens' by Japanese composer Masanori Fukuda.
In the Youth Section it was a straight battle between the ensembles from Kawasakikita High School, with the A ensemble taking the honours from their counterparts with their fine rendition of Handel's 'Suite in D'. The final podium place went to Showa Gakuin High School.
The Junior Section title was won by Hanahata-Nishi Primary School Brass Band B.
Adjudicators: Prof. Takeo Yamamoto, Prof. Tsutomu Kako, Prof. Mariko Yamamoto, Makoto Sekiya, Tamao Araki
1. Tokyo Brass Society Quartet
2. Setakoma Band
3. Fish & Chips
4. Suzume Youth Band
5. A Brass Emotion
6. On-i Brass Party
1. Kawasakikita High School Windband A
2. Kawasakikita High School Windband B
3. Showa Gakuin High School Windband
Best Instrumentalist Award: Maki Sagae (trombone) — Showa Gakuin
1. Hanahata-Nishi Primary School Brass Band B
2. Nishikata Elementary School Brass Bandgers V
3. Hanahata-Nishi Primary School Brass Band A
Best Instrumentalist Award: Saki Muroi (Tenor Horn) — Hanahata-Nishi B
Youngest Instrumentalist: Yuka Tsukahara (Hanahata-Nishi B)