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An Irish Euro for 2004?

Could the 2004 European Championships be on their way to Belfast?


There is a distinct possiblility that the 2004 European Brass Band Championships could well be held at the magnificent Waterfront Symphony Concert Hall in Belfast.

Speaking to 4BR, Markus Bach, the President of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) said that the organisation was looking at four main candidates to host the event not only in 2004, but also 2005.

"We will be making visits in the very near future to Belfast, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Malmo to look at the facilities, the infrastructure and financial support that could be on offer to host the Championships. We are delighted that four major venues have come forward to make proposals to host the event and we will be looking in great detail at each of them. Whatever our decision, it shows that there is a great demand in Europe as well as Great Britain for the contest to continue and flourish."

4BR understands that the Belfast bid is perhaps the front runner for 2004 as it is believed that the Irish have secured extensive financial assistance to ensure the success of the Championships as it believes the event is of international importance in cultural as well as musical terms for the city.

In addition EBBA is hoping for further entries for the 2nd European Young Composers Competition to be held in Brussels on the 3rd May 2002.

Entrants must be born after the 1st January 1967 and be residents or natives of the European Union. The composition should be between 7 and 9 minutes in duration and should be aimed at the playing standard of a British First or Second Section band.

The good news is that there is a first prize of 1500 Euros up for grabs with the runner up gaining 1000 euros and third place getting 600 euros.

If you are interested in getting the chance to write and be further commissioned for a test piece from the EBBA then contact Mrs Nelly Unternahrer, Pfistergasse 21, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland.

The closing date is January 31st 2002.


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Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author