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Winter is here as King of the North returns to Manger

Martin Winter returns to residency in Manger as Norwegian band announces major changes in personnel.

Martin Winter
  Martin Winter returns to Manger as the band announce major chances for the future

As HBO spread their Game of Thrones 'Winter is Here' global marketing campaign across the world this summer, the tagline coincided perfectly with the latest happenings at Manger Musikklag in Norway.

Winter returns

Their very own 'King of the North' has re-appeared in the form of Martin Winter, who begins his second term with the band as resident conductor, working alongside professional conductors Peter Sebastian Szilvay and Allan Withington.

Band Chairman Havard Skutle told 4BR: "We are delighted to welcome Martin back. The band enjoyed great success with him previously, helping us to win the Siddis, National and European Championships. With him back at the helm we aim to achieve these great things once again."

New principal

This news has also been accompanied by significant changes in playing personnel, with the appointments led by new principal cornet Nick Walkley, who has moved from Stavanger to take on the role.

Nick moved to Norway last year after leaving the Welsh Guards Band to begin life as a freelance conductor and teacher, and he told 4BR: "The opportunity to move to Bergen to link up with Manger was irresistible. It's such an incredibly exciting time to join them."

He added: "I'm very grateful to everyone at Stavanger who helped me to find a new home in the country, but Bergen has such an incredible cultural scene, and is a perfect base for me to work professionally as a musician."

Signings and returnees

Also returning to Manger is cornet player Preben Johansen following the completion of his studies in Copenhagen, whilst Dingaan Chabalala and William Grov Skramset, both students at the Grieg Academy also join the cornet ranks alongside Kai Lindal.

Meanwhile, Torstein Holmas who has recently completed studies at the RNCM and Grieg Academy, and begins working with the Norwegian Navy Band, joins on flugel.

There is also a welcome return for trombonist Birgitte Bjornsdatter Bruget following the birth of her first child, whilst Siri Aastad Kvaleid joins on solo euphonium.

Vegard Aagaard-Nilsen steps up to the solo EEb tuba role, whilst other welcome additions come in the form of Sofie Oian, Fredrik Birknes and Erik Traeland Hella on euphonium and tubas respectively.

We are delighted to welcome Martin back. The band enjoyed great success with him previously, helping us to win the Siddis, National and European Championships Band Chairman, Havard Skutle

Fond farewells

However, the band has also said fond farewells to Joseph Cook and Randi Holm, who recently welcomed baby Edvard to their family and are taking a break to concentrate on a new chapter in their lives, whilst the highly respected principal cornet Anne-Britt Hermansen has announced her retirement.

Havard Skutle added: "We've had to say farewell to some true Manger legends and close friends and we wish them all the best for their future. Despite the sadness of saying goodbye it's exciting to welcome the new talents coming in.

We are very pleased with all our new and returning recruits. Everyone has settled in so well and we are looking forward to an exciting future."



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Martin Heartfield

GGSM, ARCM, PGCE
Conductor, Adjudicator, Educationalist