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Report & Result: 2018 Flemish Open

Hauts de France are second to none as they lead the way in the international battles fought at the Flemish Open in Mechelen on the weekend.

fLEMISH oPEN
  The Flemish Open attracted bands from across Europe this year

Hauts de France Brass Band warmed up for their appearance at the forthcoming European Brass Band Championship in Utrecht, by making a successful early border crossing into the low countries to claim the 2018 Flemish Open title in Mechelen in Belgium.

Directed by Luc Vertommen, their performances of the set-work, 'Second to None' and 'Perihelion: Closer to the Sun', both by Philip Sparke, and 'Harlequin' by Bruce Broughton, saw them head home a strong international field of Dutch, Belgian, Swiss and Italian rivals.

Vertommen the fourth

It was the MD's fourth win at the bi-annual event — the last three in a row with Brass Band Buizingen (2014 & 2016) and now Hauts de France.

The strong Netherlands pair of Provinciale Brassband Groningen and Brassband de Bazuin Oenkerk claimed the podium places ahead of Noordlimburgse Brass Band, Festival Brass Band and Soli Brass Leeuwarden.

Talking about the standard of playing with press colleagues from CU Brass, he said that although it was a long contest (starting at 4.00pm and finishing at 11.00pm) he personally had "enjoyed every performance", as he felt the contest had provided "a great variety of pieces and styles".

He also thought that although the bands may have felt the set-work was "easy" that didn't always sound the case.

Section B:

Section B saw victory for Young Brassband Willebroek under MD Lode Violet — one that carried on a remarkable run of success that has now seen the Belgian's win their last eight competitive outings, including success at this event in the C Section in 2010 and 2012.

They played the set-work 'Toccatina' by Olivier Marquis, as well as 'Cantabile' by Philip Harper, 'Memories of a Lost Boy' by Ben Hollings and the Louis Prima classic, 'Sing, Sing, Sing' to beat off the strong challenge of Brassband Pro Rege Heerenveen from The Netherlands and Brass Band A7 from Germany.

Section C:

There was another home grown success in Section C as Mercator Brass Band led by another Brass Band Willebroek player, tenor horn star Tim De Maeseneer, secured a narrow single point victory over Jugendbrassband Oberosterreich from Austria, with the Germans, 3BA Academy Band in third.

In a contest described by adjudicator Brett Baker as being of "high quality", it proved to be the band's first success at the event and came with performances of the set-work, 'Black Hole from Supernova' by Stijn Aertgeerts, as well as 'Mercury' by Jan Van der Roost, Philip Wilby's 'White Knuckle Ride' and 'Ex Terra Lucem' by Jonathan Bates.

Section D:

There was a successful title defence in Section D, as Brassband Leest conducted by Walter Van de Venne retained the title ahead of local rivals United Brass and German challengers, Brass Band Duren, thanks to fine performances of the set-work, 'Embers' by Tom Davoren, 'Life's Pageant' by Terry Camsay, Philip Harper's 'The Mermaid of Zennor' and the upbeat 'Valero'.

Talking about the success of an event that continues to grow in popularity and importance, a spokesperson told 4BR: "We had a very satisfying championship, aided by the superb weather — although that meant the stage conditions were very hot for all the bands!

However, the performances were excellent and we are delighted that the competition continues to attract more and more bands from other countries."

Directed by Luc Vertommen, their performances of the set-work, 'Second to None' and 'Perihelion: Closer to the Sun', and 'Harlequin' saw them head home a strong international field of Dutch, Belgian, Swiss and Italian rivals4BR

Results:

Section A:

Set-Work: Second to None (Philip Sparke)
Adjudicators: Jan de Haan, Brett Baker, Christophe Jeanbourquin

1. Hauts de France Brass Band (Luc Vertommen) — 98.00%
2. Provinciale Brassband Groningen (Richard Visser) — 96.00%
3. Brassband de Bazuin Oenkerk (Klaas van der Woude) — 94.00%
4. Noordlimburgse Brass Band (Erik van de Kolk) — 93.00%
5. Festival Brass Band (Steven Verhaert) — 92.00%
6. Soli Brass Leeuwarden (Anne van den Berg) — 91.00%
7. Brassband Rijnmond (Erik van de Kolk) — 89.00%
8. Brassband Heist (Bert Van Thienen) — 88.00%
9. Musikgesellschaft Risch-Rotkreuz (Luca Frischknecht) — 87.00%
10. Kortrijk Brass Band (Ward De Ketelaere) — 85.00%
11. Brass Family Band (Alessandro Celardi) — 82.00%

Best Set-Piece: Soli Brass Leeuwarden
Best Soloist: Lorenz Havermans (euphonium) — Noordlimburgse Brassband


Section B:

Set-Work: Toccatina (Olivier Marquis)
Adjudicators: Jan de Haan, Brett Baker, Christophe Jeanbourquin

1. Young Brassband Willebroek (Lode Violet) — 96.00%
2. Brassband Pro Rege Heerenveen (Anne van den Berg) — 93.00%
3. Brass Band A7 (Thomas Wolf) — 91.00%
4. Brassband Smeermaas (Dieter Boffe) — 88.00%
5. Atout Vent (William Houssoy) — 86.00%
6. Brassband Merum (Theo Wolters) — 85.00%
7. Brassband Kunst naar Kracht (Pieter Koster) — 83.00%

Best Set-Piece: Young Brass Band Willebroek
Best Soloist: Jeroen Zijlstra (euphonium) — Pro Rege Heerenveen

Section C:

Set-Work: Hole from Supernova (Stijn Aertgeerts)
Adjudicators: Jan de Haan, Brett Baker, Christophe Jeanbourquin

1. Mercator Brass Band (Tim De Maeseneer) — 92.00%
2. Jugendbrassband Oberosterreich (Karl Geroldinger) — 91.00%
3. 3BA Academy Band (Benjamin Markl) — 88.00%
4. Brass Band des Hauts de Flandre (Luigi Pacicco) — 87.00%
5. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien B (Florian Lab) — 85.00%

Best Set-Piece: Mercator Brass Band
Best Soloist: Felix Geroldinger (baritone) — Jugenbrassband Oberösterreich


Section D:

Set-Work: Embers (Tom Davoren)
Adjudicators: Jan de Haan, Brett Baker, Christophe Jeanbourquin

1. Brassband Leest (Walter Van de Venne) — 90.00%
2. United Brass (Frank Vantroyen) — 89.00%
3. Brass Band Duren (Martin Schadlich) — 87.00%
4. Brassband Harp en Luit (Maarten van de Kolk) — 84.00%

Best Set-Piece: United Brass
Best Soloist: Kris Van Aken (cornet) — Brassband Leest

To view video interviews from the event go to: https:/­/­www.cubrass.nl/­videos



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Nigel Seaman

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Conductor, band trainer, teacher and adjudicator