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Report & Results: 2013 Belgian National Championships

Willebroek head for Perth next May after claiming first National title success since 2007.

willebroek

 

Brass Band Willebroek has won the Belgian National Championship title for the first time since 2007 after producing a brace of thrilling performances at the Concertzaal Lemmensinstituut in Leuven on the weekend.

Commanding victory

The former triple European champion will now head to Perth in 2014 to represent Belgium for an 18th time, as under the direction of Frans Violet they secured a commanding victory by winning both sections of the twin discipline contest.

An outstanding performance of the set work, ‘Cloudcatcher Fells’ gave them what proved to be an unassailable margin to take into the own choice section, which they also topped thanks to their sparkling rendition of Peter Graham’s ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’.

Impressed

They certainly impressed the three man team of British adjudicators, with John Doyle (who was joined by Steve Sykes and Graham Jones) writing: "I am now putting down my pen to listen to this fabulous band ... I feel like you have wrapped me in a big warm blanket or loveliness. I wanted to stop writing (I actually did) and just listen to your superb playing.

Thank you for making an old man (well I am only 34) very happy. You are bringing this work to life, I am on cloud nine. Thank you for a magnificent performance. Superb reading, epic soloists and a great ending."

The band won a prize package worth 6200 Euros to help them meet the expense of their trip to Scotland in less than six months time.

Undermined

Reigning champion Brass Band Buizingen conducted by Luc Vertommen had to be content with second place overall. Their title defence was critically undermined as they failed to impress the adjudication panel on the set work, ending in fifth — some 21 points behind their rivals.

Even a fine performance of Edward Gregson’s ‘Symphony in Two Movements’ could not overcome the imposing deficit as they bravely relinquished their hold on the title.

Credentials

The 2011 First Section champion Brass Band Leieland under Wouter Loose continued to show its increasingly impressive top flight credentials as they ended third overall, with former champion Festival Brass in fourth and Brass Band Band Heist in fifth.

There was a wide variety of own choice works performed such as the 2013 European Championship set work, ‘Myth Forest’ up against a new work from Kevin Houben entitled, ‘Abaddon—The Dark Angel’, ‘Goldberg 2012’, ‘Cambridge Variations’, ‘Red Preist’ and a second ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’.

First Section battle

In a close battle in the First Section, there was victory for Brass Band Bacchus who overcame a six point deficit on the set work, ‘Pageantry’ by Herbert Howells to snatch victory over rivals Brass Band Panta Rhei, thanks to a fine rendition of their own choice selection ‘Fanfare & Love Songs’ by Gavin Higgins. Brass Ghent was third.

Clear victory

There was a much clearer victory in the Second Section as Brass Band Scaldis directed by former Brass Band Willebroek principal cornet Raf Van Looveren took the honours, courtesy of a brace of high quality performances of the set work, ‘A Salford Sinfonietta’ and their own choice selection of ‘Vivat!’ by Tom Davoren to repel the challenge of Braz’Art conducted by Geert Verschaeve.

Move up

Brass Band Euterpe won the Third Section title, with their twin performances of the set work, ‘Promenade’ by Frank Bryce and the own choice selection of ‘Chorale and Variations’ by Leighton Lucas.

Their conductor Roland Van Buggenhout told 4BR that they now hope to move up a division for 2014. “We are very happy with the success and we now hope to play in Second Section next year as well as at the Flemish Open Brass Band Championships next year in the C Section.”

I feel like you have wrapped me in a big warm blanket or loveliness. I wanted to stop writing (I actually did) and just listen to your superb playingAdjudicator John Doyle

Results

Championship Section:

Adjudicators: Steve Sykes, John Doyle, Graham Jones
Set Work: Cloudcatcher Fells (John McCabe)

Set Work/Own Choice = Percentage Mark

1. Brass Band Willebroek (Franz Violet): 279/285 = 94.00%
2. Brass Band Buizingen (Luc Vertommen): 258/282 = 90.00%
3. Brassband Leieland (Wooter Loose): 267/270 = 89.50%
4. Festival Brass Band (Dirk De Caluwe): 270/261 = 88.50%
5. Brass Band Heist (Bert Van Thienen): 255/276 = 88.50%
6. Brassband Zele (Bart Van Der Strieckt): 261/258 = 86.50%
7. Noordlimburgse Brass Band (Ivan Meylemans): 249/267 = 86.00%
8. Kortrijk Brass Band (Ward De Ketelaere): 246/255 = 83.50%

First Section:

Adjudicators: Steve Sykes, John Doyle, Graham Jones
Set Work: Pageantry (Herbert Howells)

Set Work/Own Choice = Percentage Mark

1. Brass Band Bacchus (Bart Van Neyghem): 243/276 = 86.50%
2. Brass Band Panta Rhei Gent (Trevor Jones): 249/267 = 86.00%
3. Brass Band Gent (Lieven Dobbelaere): 240/264 = 84.00%


Second Section:

Adjudicators: Steve Sykes, John Doyle, Graham Jones
Set Work: A Salford Sinfonietta (Darrol Barry)

Set Work/Own Choice = Percentage Mark

1. Brass Band Scaldis (Raf Van Looveren): 273/285 = 93.00%
2. Braz'Art Harelbeke (Geert Verschaeve): 264/267 = 88.00%

Third Section:

Adjudicators: Steve Sykes, John Doyle, Graham Jones
Set Work: Promenade (Frank Bryce)

Set Work/Own Choice = Percentage Mark

1. Brass Band Euterpe (Roland Van Buggenhout): 273/267 = 90.00%



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Phil Lawrence

ARCM PGRNCM MFTCL ARCM B.Mus.
Composer and conductor