2007 Norwegian National Championships - Third Division

6-Feb-2007

A big old field of 15 bands will be performing their own choice selections to open adjudicators in the Third Section and they have chosen some pretty ambitious works too. Could be interesting then.


Geig HallThird Section
Adjudicators: Erling Myserth, Paul Farr
Friday 9th February (16.00pm)

 
The continued strength of lower section banding in Norway can readily be seen here in the Third Section where an increased field of 15 bands takes to the stage on the Friday to impress the two open adjudicators.

The Third Division has been in existence since 1983, but the addition of a Fourth Division in 2003 has given it much more focus and a keener competitive edge, and as a result the standard of performances has gone up accordingly. Last year's contest showed just that and the bands that came in the prizes were very good with the top two in particular of a very high standard indeed. 

Could we see more of that again this year? We think so, even though once more some of the bands may have picked pieces that will perhaps ask a bit too much of them. It should be fun listening to ‘Connotations', ‘'John O' Gaunt', ‘Symphony of Marches', three ‘Royal Parks' and even a bit of Eric Ball in ‘Sunset Rhapsody'.  Plenty of talented conductors on show too – a sign perhaps that in a few years some of these faces will be seen on the Elite stage. The likes of the talented John Philip Hannevik, Espen Westbye and even Torstein Aagaard Nilsen perhaps on a regular basis?

The breadth of the selections may pose a problem or two for the judges, but it is nice to report that the Norwegians have placed a fair bit of confidence in the youthful talents of Paul Farr who is teamed up with Erling Myserth.  Wouldn't it be nice to report that in the UK?

All in all then a great contest awaits, although if you want to know who we have tipped then you will have to head to the bottom of the page…


Austrheim Lindås Musikklag
Conductor:
  Pål Magne Austnes

National Record:
2006: 9th (Pål Magne Austnes)
2005: 5th (Age Torsvik)
2004: 7th (Age Torsvik)
2003: 9th in Second Division (rel)
2002: 8th
2001: 11th
2000: 12th

Last Year: 9th 

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Rhapsody in Brass
2005: Firestorm

Recently came 5th at the SIDDIS Contest in the Third Division are we OK here last year in coming 9th on a very difficult choice of test piece. Rhapsody in Brass may have ben 60 years old but it still had the ability to bite your bum – which it did for the band. Hopefully they will have recovered from that and a possible top 6 place may be on the cards if they perform like the y did in Stavanger.  


Borge Brass Band
Conductor:
Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen

National Record:
2006: 13th in Second Division (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) (rel)
2005: Winners of Third Division (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
2004: =8th (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)

Last year: 13th in Second Division

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Partita – St. Theodulph
2005: The Present Age

A bit like the Norwegian equivalent of Watford Football Club, Borge went up in glory and came back down soon after, with just one season in the higher division. That may be a bit hard on the band which is directed by Norway's premiere composer for brass, as we had them in the top six last year only for the judges to place them bottom of the table.  Shows you how much we know then – but they should do well here we think.   


Frei Hornmusikk:
Conductor:
Stein Åge Sørlie/ John Hudson

National Record:
2006: 4th in Fourth Division (Stein Åge Sørlie) (prom)

Own Choice Selection:
2006: Inspiration - Jan de Haan

Frei took the final play off place so to speak from the Fourth Division last year when they came 4th here after delivering a pretty decent account of the Jan de Haan work that perhaps didn't quite live up to its title but was pretty secure nonetheless. Two conductors named but that won't mean a change at half time – more to do with who is playing where and when we suspect in another hall. That would be interesting though.  


Fræna Musikkorps
Conductor:
Jens Kristian Mordal

National Record:
2006: 11th in Second Division (Jens Kristian Mordal) (rel)  
2005: 11th (Jens Kristian Mordal)
2004: 6th (Jens Kristian Mordal)
2003: Winners Third Division (prom)
2002: 9th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Last Year: 11th in Second Division

Own Choice Selection:
2006: Firestorm
2005: Oceans

After three seasons in the Second Division Fræna fell back through the trap door to the Division they won in fine style in 2003. Still, they should be a better band for the experience and they could have more than enough about them to make a mark here. We thought they were very unlucky to come where they did last year with a very neat account of Firestorm that featured an excellent soprano player. Lets hope the judges pick them out if they play just as well this time.  


Gjøvik ByBrass
Conductor:
Trond Elnes

National Record:
2006: 8th (Roar Bjerkehagen)
2005: 10th (Roar Bjerkehagen)
2004: 12th in Second Division (Roar Bjerkehagen) (rel)
2003: 2nd in Third Division (prom)
2002: Joint 13th
2001: 12th
2000: DNC

Last Year: 8th

Own Choice Selections:
2006: The Plantagenets
2005: Kaleidoscope

You can't fault Gjøvik for ambition can you now – with two own choice selections that would cause a few raised eyebrows in First Section bands back in the UK. That said, they have been perhaps a touch too ambitious and last year's Plantagenets seemed just out of their reach both technically and musically. If they can really hit on a pieced that shows off their strengths to the full then they could be in the hunt for a top six place at least. 


Grenland Brass:
Conductor:
Morten Hansen

National Record:
2006: 5th in Fourth Division (Rune Hansen) (prom)
2005: 6th (Magne Rutle)

Last Year: 5th in Fourth Division

Own Choice Selection:
2006: Kaleidoscope (Five Variations on the Brugg Song)
2005: Tryptich for Brass

A pretty decent record here over the past couple of years and they put in a pretty decent performance last year of a tricky own choice selection to come 5th and gain promotion. More of that would suit them just fine although they are making a big step up in class.   


Hasle Brass
Conductor:
Michael Antrobus

National Record:
2006: 5th (Michael Antrobus)
2005: 7th (Tarjei Gilbrant)
2004: 6th (Tarjei Gilbrant)
2003: 10th Second Division (rel)
2002: 5th in Third Division (prom)
2001: 8th
2000: 20th

Last Year: 5th

Own Choice Selections:
2006: The Land of the Long White Cloud
2005: English Heritage

Hasle are another band that certainly doesn't lack ambition when it comes to selecting their own choices and last year they did it again with the Philip Sparke that just about came off – it was touch and go though. Michael Antrobus is always worth the entrance fee to go and watch perform and his band here offered just as much in return. More of the same – but we wonder what piece he may have up his sleeve this time. They also had an excellent result at SIDDIS where they came 2nd in the First Division, so look out?


IMI Brass:
Conductor:
Per-Erik Petersen

National Record:
2006: 2nd in Fourth Division (Per-Erik Petersen) (prom)

Last Year: 2nd in Fourth Division

Own Choice Selection:
2006: To Serve and to Save - Dudley Bright

A truly spirited performance from IMI Brass gave them the runners up spot last year in the Fourth Division and so they find themselves in the higher division this time around. Can they make a real mark here or will they struggle a little. SIDDIS showed them to be around the bottom of the pile when they came in 9th, but that was in the Second Division, so who knows. Could be an interesting one. 


Kopervik Musikkorps:
Conductor:
John Philip Hannevik

National Record:
2006: Winners of Fourth Division (Selmer Simonsen) (prom)

Last Year: Winners of Fourth Division

Own Choice Selection:
2006: Voyage of Discovery - Goff Richards

Could well be the favourites to take a second successive National title here if they perform as well as they did last year. That success was perhaps a little unfair on the opposition as they sounded like a good quality Second Section band from the UK at least – so it was a bit of a steamroller job, although rules are rules, and that wasn't their fault. That may well occur again if they play to the form they showed in coming 9th in the First Division at SIDDIS and they have that exciting conducting talent in front of them too.


Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn
Conductor:
Espen Westbye

National Record:
2006: 6th (Espen Westbye)
2005: 9th (Rolf Aksel Gilje)
2004: 11th in Second Division (Alan Fernie) (rel)
2003: 6th
2002: 3rd
2001: 5th
2000: 12th in First Division (rel)

Last Year: 6th

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Excalibur
2005: Blazon

Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn seem to moving back in the right direction after coming back to the Third Division in 2005.  Conductor Espen Westbye is the star soprano play with Stavanger and his conducting skills seem to becoming along nicely too with a decent account from his band here last year and a fine showing at SIDDIS where they came 7th in the Second Division. Could be a dark horse for a podium place.  


Nes Musikkforening
Conductor:
Andres Halla

National Record:
2006: 11th (Andres Halla)
2005: 11th (Andres Halla)
2004: =8th (Andres Halla)
2003: 4th
2002: 6th
2001: 16th
2000: 14th

Last Year: 11th

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Firestorm
2005: Northern Landscapes 

A bit of the old status quo for Nes here last year and we don't mean the old set of pop rockers either. 11th place could have been better but they got their fingers burnt a little with an over ambitious choice (although they were not alone in that on the day), so something more akin to their strengths may be better for them this time around. We'll see.  


Rong Brass
Conductor:
Reid Gilje

National Record:
2006: 3rd (Reid Gilje)
2005: 6th (Reid Gilje)
2004: 11th (Hogne Haugsda)l
2003: 3rd
2002: 11th
2001: 7th
2000: 9th

Last Year: 3rd 

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Purcell Variations
2005: Partita - Postcards from Home

The experienced Reid Gilje directs again this year and will be looking to maintain the form that has seen them move up the prize table in the last couple of years and win the Second Division title at SIDDIS in fine style late last year too.  Last year they gave a lovely understated performance in coming 3rd and another one like should see them in and around the final three on stage come the results once more.  


Rosendal Musikklag
Conductor:
Jan Magne Olsen

National Record:
2006: 3rd in Fourth Division (Jan Magne Olsen) (prom)
2005: 14th (Michael Antrobus) (rel)

Last Year: 3rd in Fourth Division

Own Choice Selection:
2006: Essay for Brass Band
2005: Main Street

Rosendal return to the Third Division after just the one season in the basement area, and they did so in fine style last year coming 3rd with a pretty decent account of Edward Gregson's Essay which was musically well written from beginning to end. More of that should make sure their stay in this division lasts a bit longer and they showed they were in good form at SIDDIS where they came runners up in the Third Division. 


Skui Brass Band
Conductor:
Henrik Dalhaug

National Record:
2006: 10th (Henrik Dalhaug)
2005: 12th (Trond Nilsen)
2004: 3rd in Fourth Division (Trond Nilsen) (prom)
2003: 3rd
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Last Year: 10th

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Renaissance
2005: Partita Postcards from Home

Skui Brass Band made their debut in the Third Division in 2005 and have just about held their own at the higher level. That's a pretty good achievement in anyiones books, especially as they pushed the longboat out a little with a slightly ambitious choice last year that didn't quite come off. Good news though at SIDDIS where they came runners up to Rong. Could that be an omen?  


Trondheim Politis Brassband
Conductor:
Odd Steinar Morkved

National Record:
2006: 12th in Second Division (Odd Steinar Morkved) (rel)
2005: =4th (Odd Steinar Morkved)
2004: 3rd (Odd Steinar Morkved)
2003: 5th
2002: 11th in First Division (rel)
2001: 7th in First Division
2000: Joint 5th in First Division

Last Year: 12th in Second Division

Own Choice Selections:
2006: Ballet for Band
2005: St Theodulph 

Trondheim Politis Brassband will be looking for a good result here as they have fallen off the pace somewhat after coming as high as joint 5th in the First Division at the turn of the Millennium.  Last year they opted for the subtle charms of Ballet for Band and they didn't quite capture the lightness and delicacy of the Horovitz score – and paid the price.  Hopefully not this year then.  


Test Piece Selections:              
         
A.     Ancient Monuments     (Bertrand Moren)    
B.     Connotations     (Edward Gregson)    
C.     Festivity     (Leslie Condon)    
D.     Forest of Dean     (Derek Bourgeois)    
E.     John O'Gaunt     (Gilbert Vinter)    
F.     Kaleidoscope     (Philip Sparke)    
G.     Laudate Dominum     (Edward Gregson)    
H.     Romance 8 - A brass celebration     (Ray Steadman-Allen)    
I.      Royal Parks     (George Lloyd)    
J.      Royal Parks     (George Lloyd)    
K.     Royal Parks     (George Lloyd)    
L.     Sunset Rhapsody     (Eric Ball)    
M.    Symphony of Marches     (Gilbert Vinter)    
N.     The Land of the Long White Cloud - Aotearoa (Philip Sparke)
O.     Trittico     (James Curnow)    


2006 Result:

1. Jølster Musikklag, Arvid Anthun, 98
2. Gjesdal Brass Band, Christian Tenfjord, 97
3. Rong Brass, Reid Gilje, 94
4. Laksevåg Musikkforening, Tom Brevik, 93
5. Hasle Brass, Michael Antrobus, 92
6. Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn, Espen Westbye, 90
7. Fagernes Musikkorps, Tor Arthur Hagen, 89
8. Gjøvik Bybrass, Roar Bjerkehagen, 88
9. Austrheim/Lindås Musikklag, Pål Magne Austnes, 87
10. Skui Brassband, Henrik Dalhaug, R86
11. Nes Musikkforening, Andres Halla, 85
12. Skodje Ungdomskorps, Gary Mcphee, 84

Solo prize: Euphonium, Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn

Best section: Basses, Rong Brass 


4BR Prediction:

Who would ever think that 4BR would use guesswork to make our scientifically proven selections eh? Shame on you for even thinking such a thing…

Still we have fed all the pros and cons of the bands here through our computer and come up with a top six we think may well feature come the announcement of the results.

So we put our kiss of death on Kopervik Musikkorps then who we think are a band on the up once more, with Rong Brass and Hasle to push them all the way. Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn could well feature as well as Borge Brass and IMI Brass with our dark horse Austrheim/Linda Musikklag

1. Kopervik Musikkorps
2. Rong Brass
3. Hasle Brass
4. Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn
5. IMI Brass
6. Borg Brass

Dark Horse: Austrheim Lindas Musikklag

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