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2011 Norwegian National Championships — First Division preview and prediction

4BR casts its eye over the 12 bands hoping to make the step up and join the Elite bands in Norway this weekend.

GrieghallenFirst Division: 

Adjudicators: Bjorn Sagstad & Ian Porthouse
Saturday 12th February (9.00)


Not for the first time with the First Division, Norway shows the rest of the banding world just how the ideal model for this level of brass band contesting should be set up.

The standard of last year’s contest was outstanding – with at least four bands producing performances worthy of Elite status, and with Sandefjord in particular providing a truly memorable winner with their rendition of ‘Eden’.

Compare and contrast

Much then for Ian Porthouse and Bjorn Sagstad to look forward to on Saturday morning, with a dozen intriguing selections to compare and contrast – from the working class Manchester vistas of the artist Lowry to the rock and roll pyrotechnic Montreux vistas of Deep Purple.

With Sandefjord promoted and no real form guide provided by the SIDDIS contest to fall back on, (the best placed band there was Gjallarhorn who came 5th, although Jolster did win the Second Division title) it promises to be an interesting battle.

Diverse choices

Last year’s podium finishers Tomra and Alexander Brass return once more with very diverse own choice selections:  

Tomra
opti for Peter Meechan’s take on the Deep Purple ‘Smoke on the Water/Fire in the Sky’ classic, whilst Alexander choose the more introvert characteristics of George Lloyd’s,  ‘Diversions on a Bass Theme’ - although we wonder what he would have made of the iconic Ritchie Blackmore opening riff.

Return

Garry Cutt leads Jaren Hornmusikkforening again and will be looking to push them back towards a return to the Elite Section for the first time since 2009. They have opted for Peter Graham’s lyrical ‘On Alderney Edge’ as their selection – a piece that can gain high rewards if soloists are on top form.

Two bands will try their luck with Edward Gregson’s classic ‘Dances & Arias’, which despite its age still sounds fresh and challenging. Both Tertnes Amatorkoprps under Tormod Flaten and Sorum Musikklag directed by Christian Tenfjord will have to play to the top of their form if they are to master its mature challenges.

Popular choice

Philip Sparke is always a popular choice and Tertnes Brass directed by Yngve Nikolaisen and last year’s Second Division champion Orskog Brass led by Alan Morrison, will face plenty of challenges with ‘Year of the Dragon’ and ‘A London Overture’ respectively.

Although neither piece is in the first flush of youth, they are both packed with venomous challenges, although both MDs have plenty of experience to call upon to steer their bands through without too many mishaps.

Step up in class

The other promoted band Musikkorpset Gjallahorn posted the best finish of the bands here at SIDDIS late last year, but will know they have made a significant step up in class. 

Former Stavanger soprano star Espen Westbye leads them on John Golland’s underrated ‘Sounds’ as they look to make an immediate impression.

Also opting for the Golland work is Kleppe Musikklag under Rune Hannisdal, as they look to put behind them a disappointing SIDDIS return (9th) and hopefully post another top six finish.

Jolster under Arvid Anthun will be keen to keep up their run of good form following their impressive Second Division win at SIDDIS, by improving on last year’s disappointing 9th place. They are the third band to choose Edward Gregson’s ‘Dances & Arias’.

Talented

The talented Philip Hannevik takes over the helm at Laksevag Musikkforening hoping to improve on last year’s 8th place with their own choice selection of Martin Ellerby’s lively and colourful ‘Chivalry’, whilst Oster Brass gained promotion up from the Second Division despite only coming 5th last year.

They pin their hopes under Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen on Philip Wilby’s ‘A Lowry Sketchbook’.


4BR Prediction: 

You could flick a coin in the air before a note is blown on this one and still come up with a pretty good selection for a top six.

Still, we get paid for putting our necks on the line and then getting them lopped off, so we have opted for a bit of Deep Purple inspired Tomra to take the title, just ahead of Jaren and Alexander Brass.

Tertnes, Gjallarhorn and Tertnes Amatorkorps make up our top six with the darkest of dark horses in Orskog.

1. Tomra
2. Jaren Hornmusikkforening
3. Alexander Brass
4. Tertnes
5. Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn
6. Tertnes Amatorkorps

Dark horse: Orskog Brass


Alexander Brass Band
Conductor:
Morten E Hansen 

2011 Draw: 3

Own Choice Selection:
Diversions on a Bass Theme (George Lloyd)

National Record:
2010: 3rd (Morten E. Hansen)
2009: 2nd in 3rd Division (Morten E Hansen) (prom)
2008: 3rd (Sverre Stakston Olsrud)
2007: 11th in First Section (Morten E. Hansen) (rel)
2006: 5th (Morten E. Hansen)
2005: 9th (Morten E. Hansen)
2004: =5th (Morten E. Hansen)
2003: 10th in Elite Division  (Morten Hansen) (rel)
2002: Winners of First Division (prom)
2001: Winners of Second Division (prom)
2000: 8th in Second Division
1999: 11th in First Division (rel)
1998: 7th in First Division
1997: Winners of Second Division (prom)
1996: 3rd in Second Division
1995: Winners of Third Division (prom)

Overall Record:
Winners of First Division 2002
Winners of Second Division 2001, 1997
Winners of Third Division 1995

Last Year: 3rd

Own Choice Selection:
2010: Journey into Freedom
2009: The Saga of Haakon the Good
2008: Nautalis
2007: English Heritage
2006: Between the Two Rivers
2005: The Holy War


Jaren Hornmusikkforening
Conductor:
  Garry Cutt 

2011 Draw: 6

Own Choice Selection: On Alderney Edge (Peter Graham)

National Record:
2010: 4th (Garry Cutt)
2009: 9th in Elite Division (Helge Haukås) (rel)
2008: 4th (Helge Haukås)
2007: Winners of First Division (Helge Haukås) (prom)
2006: 10th in Elite Division (Helge Haukås) (rel)
2005: 4th (Helge Haukås)
2004: 8th (Helge Haukås)
2003: 9th  (Helge Haukås)
2002: 9th  (Helge Haukås)
2001: 6th  (Helge Haukås)
2000: 2nd in First Division (N/K) (prom)
1999: 6th (B. Eklund)
1998: n/k 
1997: 9th in First Division (T. Elnes)
1996: 4th (T. Elnes)
1995: 3rd in Second Division (T. Elnes) (prom)

Overall Record:
First Division Winners 2007

Last Year: 4th

Own Choice Selection:
2010: The Promised Land
2009: Paganini Variations
2008: Elgar Variations
2007: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2006: Montage
2005: Ballet for Band
2004: English Heritage
2003: Riffs and Interludes
2002: Klang! – Orjan Matre


Jølster Musikklag
Conductor:
Arvid Anthun 

2011 Draw: 11

Own Choice Selection: Dances & Arias (Edward Gregson) 

National Record:
2010: 9th (Arvid Anthun)
2009: 4th (Arvid Anthun)
2008: =7th (Arvid Anthun)
2007: Winners of Second Division (Arvid Anthun) (prom)
2006: Winners of Third Division (Arvid Anthun) (prom)
2005: 4th (Arvid Anthun)
2004: 2nd in Fourth Division (Arvid Anthun) (prom)
2003: 9th in Third Division (rel)
2002: 7th
2001: 4th
2000: 6th

Overall Record:
Second Division winners 2007
Third Division winners 1993, 2006

Last Year: 9th

Own Choice Selections:
2010: A Kensington Concerto
2009: Ballet for Band
2008: Pageantry
2007: The Lord is King
2006: Voyage of Discovery
2005: Nautalis


Kleppe Musikklag
Conductor:
Rune Hannisdal  

2010 Draw: 12

Own Choice Selection:  Sounds (John Golland)

National Record:
2010: 6th (Bjorn E. Breistein)
2009: Winners of 2nd Division (Russell Gray) (prom)
2008: 10th in First Division (Russell Gray) (rel)
2007: 3rd (Russell Gray)
2006: 3rd (Eirik Gjerdevik)
2005: 4th (Eirik Gjerdevik)
2004: =5th (Eirik Gjerdevik)
2003: 6th
2002: 4th
2001: 12th
2000: 7th

Overall Record:
Second Division winners 1981, 2009

Last Year: 6th 

Own Choice Selection:
2010: Paganini Variations
2009: Tallis Variations
2008: Elgar Variations
2007: Dances and Alleluias
2006: English Heritage
2005: Chivalry


Laksevåg Musikkforening
Conductor:
Philip Hannevik 

2011 Draw: 2

Own Choice Selection: Chivalry (Martin Ellerby) 

National Record:
2010: 8th (Tom Brevik)
2009: =7th (Tom Brevik)
2008: 11th (Tom Brevik)
2007: =4th (Tom Brevik)
2006: 4th in Third Division (Tom Brevik) (promoted to First Division)
2005: 3rd (Tom Brevik)
2004: 5th (Tom Brevik)
2003: 7th
2002: 12th in Second Division (rel)
2001: 6th in Second Division
2000: 2nd

Last Year: 8th

Own Choice Selections:
2010: Paganini Variations
2009: Tallis Variations
2008: Festival Music
2007: A Kensington Concerto
2006: The Land of the Long White Cloud
2005: Salute to Youth


Musikkorpset Gjallarhorn
Conductor:
Espen Westbye 

2011 Draw: 4

Own Choice Selection: Sounds (John Golland)

National Record:
2010: 2nd in Second Division (Espen Westbye) (prom)
2009: =6th (Espen Westbye)
2008: 8th (Espen Westbye)
2007: Winners of Third Division (Espen Westbye) (prom)
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)

Overall Record:
Winners of Second Division 1980, 1989, 1996
Winners of Third Division 2007

Last Year: 2nd in Second Division (promoted)

Own Choice Selections:
2010: Labour and Love
2009: Heart of a Salvationist
2008: Forest of Dean
2007: The Land of the Long White Cloud
2006: Excalibur
2005: Blazon


Oster Brass
Conductor:
Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen

2011 Draw: 7

Own Choice Selection: A Lowry Sketchbook (Philip Wilby) 

National Record:
2010: 5th in Second Division (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) (prom)
2009: 11th in First Division (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) (rel)
2008: =5th (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
2007: 7th (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
2006: 9th (Reid Gilje)
2005: 5th (Reid Gilje)
2004: 10th (Oddmund Hjartaker)
2003: 11th
2002: 10th
2001: 8th
2000: 10th
1999: 7th

Overall Record:
Second Division winners 1982, 1983, 1992, 1995

Last Year: 5th in Second Division (promoted)

Own Choice Selection:
2010: Connotations
2009: The Essence of Time
2008: Dances and Arias
2007: Forest of Dean
2006: Variations on an Enigma
2005: English Heritage


Sørum Musikklag
Conductor:
Christian Tenfjord 

2011 Draw: 9

Own Choice Selection: Dances & Arias (Edward Gregson) 

National Record:
2010: 7th (Christian Tenfjord)
2009: 6th (Christian Tenfjord)
2008: 2nd (Christian Tenfjord)
2007: =8th (Christian Tenfjord)
2006: 2nd in Second Division (Erling J. Myrseth) (prom)
2005: 11th in First Division (Erling J. Myrseth)
2004: =7th (Trond Elnes)
2003: 7th
2002: 7th
2001: 2nd in 2nd Division
2000: Joint 5th in 2nd Division

Overall Record:
Winners of Third Division 1994

Last Year: 7th

Own Choice Selection:
2010: Harrison’s Dream
2009: Dove Descending
2008: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2007: A Lowry Sketchbook
2006: Trittico
2005: Spectrum


Tertnes Brass
Conductor:
Yngve Nikolaisen 

2011 Draw: 1

Own Choice Selection: The Year of the Dragon (Philip Sparke)
 
National Record:
2010: 9th in Elite Division (Philip Hannevik) (rel)
2009: Winners of First Division (Gary Peterson) (prom)
2008: 10th in Elite Division (Bjørn Breistein) (rel)
2007: 7th (Bjørn Breistein)
2006: 8th (Bjørn Breistein)
2005: Winners of First Division (Bjorn Breistein)
2004: 10th in Elite Section (Bjorn Breistein)
2003: Winners of First Division  (John Hinkley)
2002: 10th in Elite Division
2001: 7th in Elite Division
2000: 6th in Elite Division
1999: 2nd in 1st Division

Overall Record:
Winners First Division 2003, 2005, 2009
Winners Second Division 1984 and 1985

Last Year: 9th in Elite Division (relegated)

Own Choice Selection
2010: Prague
2009: Dances & Arias
2008: Tallis Variations
2007: Ascending – learning how to fly
2006: Contest Music
2005: Dances and Arias
2004: …Dove Decending
2003: Variations on an Enigma


Tertnes Amatørkorps
Conductor:
Tormod Flaten

2011 Draw: 8

Own Choice Selection: Dances & Arias (Edward Gregson)

National Record:
2010: 5th (Tormod Flaten)
2009: 9th (Martin Winter)
2008: =7th (Tormod Flaten)
2007: 2nd in Second Division (Tormod R. Flaten) (prom)
2006: 8th (Tormod Flaten)
2005: =4th (Tormod Flaten)
2004: 4th in Third Division (Tormod Flaten) (prom)
2003: Winners of Fourth Division (Tormod Falten) (prom)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Overall Record:
Winners of Fourth Section 2003

Last Year: 5th

Own Choice Selections:
2010: The Essence of Time
2009: Pageantry
2008: Salute to Youth
2007: Coventry Variations
2006: Quintessence
2005: Rhapsody in Brass


Tomra Brass Band
Conductor:
Nick Ost 

2010 Draw: 10

Own Choice Selection: Fire in the Sky (Peter Meechan) 

National Record:
2010: 2nd (Frans Violet)
2009: 5th (Frans Violet)
2008: 3rd (Frans Violet)
2007: 4th in Elite Section (relegated due to admin error)
2006: Winners of First Division (Frans Violet) (prom)
2005: 2nd (Frans Violet)
2004: =7th (Arnfinn Dalhaug)
2003: 2nd
2002: 3rd
2001: 4th
2000: 8th in Elite Division (rel)
1999: Winners of First Division

Overall Record:
Winners of First Division 1993, 1999, 2006

Last Year: 2nd

Own Choice Selection:
2010: Rococo Variations
2009: Concertino for Brass Band
2008: Music of the Spheres
2007: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2006: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2005: Whitsun Wakes


Ørskog Brass
Conductor:
  Alan Morrison

2011 Draw: 5

Own Choice Selection: A London Overture (Philip Sparke)

National Record:
2010: Winners of Second Division (Karl Ole Midtbo) (prom)
2009: 10th in 1st Division (John Hudson) (rel)
2008: Winners of Second Division (John Hudson) (prom)
2007: 3rd (John Hudson)
2006: 6th (Henrik Dalhaug)
2005: 12th in First Division (Michael Antrobus) (rel)
2004: 4th  (Michael Antrobus)
2003: 2nd Second Division
2002: 7th
2001: 11th in First Division
2000: 2nd

Overall Record:
Winners of Second Division 2008, 2010

Last Year: Winners of Second Division (promoted)

Own Choice Selections:
2010: The Essence of Time
2009: Spectrum
2008: Dances and Alleluias
2007: English Heritage
2006: Trittico
2005: Five Blooms in a Welsh Garden


2010 Result: 

Adjudicator(s): Jens T. Larsen, Gavin David Lee

Test piece: Own Choice

1. Sandefjord Brass Symposium (Dave Roberts) - 96
2. Tomra Brass Band (Frans Violet) - 95
3. Alexander Brass Band (Morten E Hansen) - 94
4. Jaren Hornmusikkforening (Garry Cutt) - 93
5. Tertnes Amatørkorps (Tormod Flaten) - 90
6. Kleppe Musikklag (Bjørn E. Breistein) - 89
7. Sørum Musikklang (Christian Tenfjord) - 88
8. Laksevåg Musikkforening (Tom Brevik) - 87
9. Jølster Musikklag (Arvid Anthun) - 86
10. Askøy Brass Band (Yngve Nikolaisen) - 85
11. Tromsø Brass (Tor Kristian Innbjør) - 84
12. Kopervik Musikkorps (Melvin White) - 83



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Nigel Seaman

ARMCM ARNCM
Conductor, band trainer, teacher and adjudicator