Norway's 3-2-1 Contest
The Grenland Contest in Norway features all their top bands
in a 3 part competition to find the winners. We have all the details
and run downs on the Elite bands taking part.
The Grenland Brass Festival will take place on the weekend of
the 27th to the 29th April in the beautiful Norwegian town of Skien,
which is located in the North East of the country.
This unique contest will be held for the fifth time and features
bands from throughout the country at the Ibsen Concert Hall and
lovely Skien church. The elite bands will be required to play a
church music concert on the Friday night, a test piece on the Saturday
morning and an entertainment contest on the Saturday evening. Three
contests for the price of one then!
Further adding to the sense of this being a new dimension in brass
band contesting will be open adjudication (hip, hip, hooray!!) with
all three individual components being scored out of 100 points.
The band with the highest aggregate over the three mini contests
wins the top prize.
Although it is only the Elite bands that compete over the three
aspects of the contest, First Section bands get to play a test piece
contest and entertainment contest on the Friday and Saturday and
Second Section bands get the opportunity to play in an entertainment
contest. The test pieces for the elite bands this year is "Freedom"
by Hubert Bath, whilst the First Section bands get to perform "Capriccio
Italien" arranged by Doctor Dennis Wright.
The current champions are Sandefjord Brass Symposium who won the
title last year as triple winners Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag who
won the title in 1997, 98 and 99 were competing and very nearly
winning the European Championships in Birmingham. This years adjudicators
are Richard Evans and Kjell Ingebrigtsen for the Elite and First
Section bands whilst Gareth Jones and Johannes Mangersnes get to
judge the lower sections.
In what should be a brilliant weekend, there will be any number
of talented players and conductors on show. Why not check our feature
on the Norwegian National Band to see who are the real stars?
Our Guide to the Elite Bands:
Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag:
Formed from the merger of two wind bands in the 1960's, Eikanger
celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1999 as a music organisation,
and are rightly seen as one of Europe's foremost bands. They have
won their National title on 8 occasions, the SIDDIS Entertainment
Contest on a further 8 occasions and have been European Champions
The Musical Director for the contest is Reid Gilje who's clever
brass arrangements will surely be featured in the entertainment
contest along with those of Frode Ryland the bands brilliant soprano
Founded in 1936 they made their debut at the Norwegian Nationals
in the 2nd Section in 1980. They are the newest band in the Elite
Section and gained 6th place at the Nationals in February conducted
by Helge Haukas. For this contest they will be under the baton of
Bjorn Briestein and will feature some super players in trombonist
Aage Barlund and Solo Cornet Gry Palden Tingelstad.
Krohnengen Brass Band:
Founded in 1969 by former members of Krohnengen School Band, they
developed into one of Norway's top bands following the appointment
of Alan Withington as Musical Director in 1981. By 1987 they were
promoted to the top section and in 1990 they won the National title
under Karl Ole Midtbo and were place 6th at that years European
Championships in the Netherlands. Ray Farr has carried on the work
of both Alan and Karl and they will be conducted at this year's
contest by Michael Antrobus.
Founded in 1995 as a project band that rehearsed just once a month,
they have made rapid progress through the Norwegian Sections. They
have been conducted throughout by John Philip Hannevik who has been
connected with the Salvation Army since 1985 and is the youngest
conductor at this year's contest. He also gained 4th place at the
inaugural European Condutor's Competition in Birmingham in 2000.
They feature many fine young players including Tarjei Gilbrandt
on solo cornet.
Founded in 1922 Manger have long been recognised as one of Norway's
and Europe's premier banding outfits and as long ago as 1981 they
gained 2nd place at the European Championships. They have won the
Norwegian National title on 6 occasions, including 4 years in a
row under the baton of David King - an unique achievement in Norwegian
banding history. Stian Svendsen is the band's regular conductor,
but on this occasion the band will be under the baton of Scotsman
Nigel Boddice. Players to look out for are soprano player Kjetil
Morken and Are Mangersnes on baritone.
Section 1 Bands:
Molde Brass Band
Vennesla Kristne Brass
Section 2 Bands:
Eidsberg Brass Band
Section 3 Bands: