The North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) has announced that their 2014 National Championships will feature the music of composer Professor Edward Gregson.
The event entitled, ‘Celebrate Gregson’ will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the weekend of the 11th/12th April, with the musical centre piece in the Blue Riband Championship Section, the contest premiere of his 2012 composition ‘Symphony in Two Movements’.
I’m delighted that NABBA has chosen ‘Symphony in Two Movements’ and made it the set test. Although it has been used already as an own choice work in the contest arena, this will be its premiere as a test pieceEdward Gregson
The composer will be making the trip to the USA to hear his works performed, and as he told 4BR, he is certainly looking forward to it.
"I’m delighted that NABBA has chosen ‘Symphony in Two Movements’ and made it the set test. Although it has been used already as an own choice work in the contest arena, this will be its premiere as a test piece."
He added: "The brass band scene in North America has grown significantly over the past ten years or so and can now boast many high quality bands. The symphonic idiom of the work will suit their style of playing extremely well.
NABBA also has an enlightened infrastructure and leadership to take the North American band movement forward with a sense of purpose — something I believe they have demonstrated with this adventurous choice of test piece.
I’m really looking forward to being in Grand Rapids next April to hear what I am sure will be some wonderful performances of all my works."
The Championship Section Friday performances will be preceded by a presentation on the work by the composer himself, whilst the competing bands in other sections will perform a trio of some of the most significant works for brass band.
The bands in the First Section will perform his seminal 1977 work, ‘Connotations’ whilst the Second Section contenders will surely enjoy the opportunity to perform the revised version of the much-loved ‘Variations on Laudate Dominum’.
The Third Section challengers will play his 1970 work, ‘Partita’, is based on the famous 13th century Gregorian antiphon Dies irae (Day of Judgement), whilst appropriately, one of his earliest works for the medium, the suite, ‘Voices of Youth’ composed in 1968 will be played by in the youth section.
NABBA President Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen will be presenting the ‘President’s Award’ for ‘Outstanding Service to Brass Bands’ to both Edward Gregson and his brother, Bramwell.
He told 4BR: "Bram has a storied history as a major figure in Canadian brass banding over many decades, especially through his work with the London Band and Intrada Brass and their many recordings.
He us one of only a handful of brass band members to be joined with the highly esteemed American Bandmasters Association. This year marks Bram’s 50th as a brass band conductor and next year is Edward’s 70th birthday.
It is a great honor to have both Gregson brothers with us in this most exciting of NABBA for years."
Championship Section: Symphony in Two Movements
First Section: Connotations
Second Section: Variations on Laudate Dominum
Third Section: Partita
Youth Section: Suite: Voices of Youth