2015 European Brass Band Championship — Challenge Section: As it happened

All the action from the 2015 European Brass Band Championship — Challenge Section — as it happened.

Challenge Section • Sunday 3, 00:19:28

Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 23:14:45


Challenge Section:

Thomas Doss, Marc Lys, Stephen Roberts

Test Piece:Origenes (Carlos Cardenas) & Own Choice Programme

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1. Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila): (3) 97
2. Brassband Sachsen (Eoin Tonner): (5) 96
3. R.E.T. Brass Band (Red Eagle Tirol) (Andreas Lackner): (1) 95
4. Brass Band Wipptal (Martin Gruber): (2) 93
5. Downshire Brass (Professor Michael Alcorn): (4) 92
6. Auksinis Brass Band (Laimonas Masevicius): (6) 91

Best Soloist: Flugel Chritophe Brassband Sachsen

Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 12:30:40

4BR Prediction:

Josh Hughes gives his opinion on what may be the outcome today...

The quality of playing today has been superb - especially the percussion. Some fantastic performances and own choice test pieces chosen. It's going to be a close one at the top

1. Italian Brass Band
2. Brass Band Wipptal
3. R.E.T Brass Band

Dark Horse: Brass Band Sachsen

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The Challenge Section draws to its conclusion and as Auksiis Brass Band go on stage, the hall fills to capacity in readiness for the Championship Section. The Lithuanian band are excited to be performing before such a large and supportive audience.

Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 12:10:24

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6. Auksiis Brass Band (Laimonas Masevicius):

Own Choice - Bravura (Peter Graham) and St Casimar Choral (Choral Fantasy) (K. Daugela)

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The hall has filled up just about to the brim for the last band in this section.

They open up with the set piece for the last time today, and although the percussion is a little heavy there is p,entry of drive.

The big chords work well and there are some great dynamics on show. Bass trom is fabulous - one of the best today (and there have been some crackers). Euph solo is confident but struggles with the top notes and there a few tuning issues with the mutes!

The energy and commitment is flawless here, and it is a very stylish reading from the MD. He really has brought out all the detail in the score.

Final section is so well controlled. What a piece of music - congratulations to Carlos Cardenas and to the band.

'Bravura' euph solo showcases a top class talent but it is just unfortunate that the accompaniment is so heavy.

Intonation is a huge issue here in the ensemble, although the soloist is such a classy presence.

The cadenza is very good - cheeky and stylish, it takes a lot to fill this hall but they have done a fantastic job. Scrappy playing from the band to end just spoils things though.

'St. Casimir' is a lovely choice with the soprano such a sweet voice to start.

The MD has shaped this piece really well - and what an impressive picture he has portrayed.

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Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 11:37:42

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5. Brassband Sachsen (Eoin Tonner):

Own Choice - Hymn of the Highlands (Philip Sparke)

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Brass Band Sachsen up next, and there is a real increase in the size of the audience. What a warm welcome for the German band!

The delicate percussion works well to start, but perhaps just lacks energy. Percussion section is holding things together at the moment, but bravo bass trombone - great stuff.

Dynamics are so well controlled by MD this is sounding good - and we like the effects - the best we have had today. Confident euph solo but again the ensemble just lacks something in dynamics!

Basses have a dark sound but detail is lost. Final section is tight and the band have a lovely warm sound - so broad and darkly balanced. We also have heard some of the best percussion and effects we have had today. An interesting one this.

Own choice piece 'Hymn of the Highlands' (Phillip Sparke) is well chosen. Fantastic start by baritone and horn and the flugel has a beautiful tone. The odd slip - but so what.

'Highland Cathedral' is played so well by the euph - super confident and stylish. Soprano is superb! Percussion and basses drive the band forward, and this is classy stuff.

The band are revelling in this and there is some real brilliance to the lower band sound and playing from the cornets.

Dynamics perhaps need a bit more contrast but the band's sound is warm and welcoming. Solo horn feature is wonderful and the ensemble is now right on the mark.

The final section is nicely handled - the chords from the basses and bass trom are so powerful and cornets sit perfectly on top.

The cornets are razor sharp, detail is so clear from all. What an ending - we just sit back and enjoy!

The MD has shaped this so well and the band have worked hard. A bit of a dark horse?

The standing ovation from the crowd is well deserved.

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Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 10:36:52

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4. Downshire Brass (Professor Michael Alcorn):

Own Choice - Tallis Variations (Philip Sparke)

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Starting with the set work, the percussion starts - but it's perhaps a bit too loud!

Chords are perfectly balanced and the wind effect is great, although the bass trom semi’s aren’t clear. It's a steady tempo, but we can't a hear the noticeable accents on the shock notes in the cornets - it just sounds flat.

Percussion builds the energy up again and the air sounds on the mouthpieces work well. Soloist do a great job, especially the euph - and we love the triangle vibrato!

Perhaps not enough dynamic contrast between p and mp, but warm band sounds and a solid ending to a performance that just played it a bit too safe.

Own choice piece 'Tallis Variations' (Phillip Sparke) has such a solid start although the percussion has a few slips.

It just needs more for the crescendos from cornets to work though. Quiet playing is safe and there is a lovely timbre to the sound.

There are some tuning issues with muted cornets but big band sounds have plenty of energy. Flugel plays well and great to hear horns being encouraged.

Cornet section is scrappy and there is one or two slips but MD gains control and moves the music forward. Cornet solo plays well and bravo horn - wonderful stuff.

The style with horns and baritones is superb and the basses drive the band forward with the snare drum. This is very good.

The quiet chords suffer from fatigue before the final section which is a real shame. That was a struggle in the end, but what a brave and well thought out performance.

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Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 10:15:24

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3. Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila):

Own Choice - The Essence of Time (Peter Graham)

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Italian Brass Band setting up the stage, the hall is really starting to fill up now. The adjudicators ring the bell but they are still setting the stage! The hall buzzes as they enter.

Starting with the set piece, the percussion creates a great atmosphere to star. Its building really well - the best opening we have had so far with great use of dynamic.

Bass trom - spot on and confident euph solo is so well done. Bravo sir! The standard of the solo players in this band is superb.

There is so much energy about this playing - the shock notes are so snappy. The bass drum is perhaps a little too loud and it just drains the ensemble.

However, the final section is tight and the band produces such a warm sound. Its not too overpowering to finish either. This was a fantastic reading from MD and band - a very good performance.

The own choice piece 'The Essence of Time' (Peter Graham) starts with the bass drum giving it a huge thump!

There is plenty of controlled playing on show though, and despite some of the detail not being clear the musicality still flows through.

Trombones are a little harsh at times, but the ensemble is so well balanced well and has such a bright golden sound - really good stuff.

Again - percussion really adds rhythmic pulse to the band - this has been a quality section. Cornet solo flows, but we could take a little more horn? Euph - wow that is all you can say!

MD shapes the music, althouh more dynamic contrast is perhaps needed. Dark bass end - what a sound! Ending has been well structured and classily played. This has been a high level of performance all round that will surely be right in the mix.

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Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 09:33:24

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2. Brass Band Wipptal (Martin Gruber):

Own Choice - The Land of the Long White Cloud) (Philip Sparke)

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Brass Band Wipptal (Defending Champions) take to the stage

This time we start with the set piece - and what fantastic percussion to start. The dynamic hairpins are fantastic although it is just a touch loud in places. Brass Trom gives us a decent effort but no difference between the p and mf just robs things of character.

The cornet section move it on and its razor sharp and the solo euph does a fantastic job. It is thrilling to watch and so exciting with animated, driven direction from MD. The energetic section played by percussion is great - they are working hard and its paying off! Final section is top quality too. Some detail lost within the cornet section but what a superb ending.

The own-choice piece is 'The Land of the Long White Cloud' (Phillip Sparke) and the quality sound of the band is immediately apparent, with euphs perfectly balanced.

There are beautiful warm sounds on show. Muted cornets do a fine job, although it doesn’t sound as tight as it could be. Side drum drives the band into the next movement, the style and shape of the music making is perfect. Well done MD. Confident soloists although just a few slips from the flugel, but what a fine band sound

The MD has shaped this so well - so much emotion and feeling lifted from the score. Final sections moves on and basses do a great job, its so precise and clear!

This has been great playing and direction. A couple of clips but, really, so what? Superb and so enjoyable. Classy and intelligent.

Its going to be a tough one for the judges today!

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Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 09:12:19

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1. R.E.T. Brass Band (Red Eagle Tirol) (Andreas Lackner):

Own Choice - Trittico for Brass Band (James Curnow)

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An early start this morning in Freiburg, as band number 1 set up the stage the hall slowly fills up, a reasonable audience for 9am!

And we're off, R.E.T Brass Band (Red Eagle Tirol) start with their own choice piece; Trittico (James Curnow)

What a confident start, full of energy and the euphs do a fine job of the theme.

Into the 1st movement now this is high quality stuff the detail and clarity is apparent and the dynamic contrast is great. Not overpowering.

Percussion drives the music forward, again the the dynamics are controlled into the final section. Nothing to fault here: Well done soloists and band.

Moving onto the set work, and after the percussion starts, the first chord by the horns is perfectly balanced.

Some detail is lost with the basses due to the acoustic - however its a decent effort. Bass Trom Bravo! This piece features percussion a lot and they are doing a fine job.

Great Sounds. Euph solo again this is classy stuff, what a rich tone. The tempo is spot on and the MD is really painting a picture here.

A genuinely thrilling reading and performance that sets a very high bar. Superb.

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Challenge Section • Saturday 2, 09:09:56

Challenge Section:

Test Piece: Origenes (Carlos Cardenas) & Own Choice Programme
Rolfe Bohme Saal Konzerthaus
Commenced: 9.00am (BST -1)

Comments by Josh Hughes

Thomas Doss, Marc Lys, Stephen Roberts


1. R.E.T. Brass Band (Red Eagle Tirol) (Andreas Lackner)
2. Brass Band Wipptal (Martin Gruber)
3. Italian Brass Band (Filippo Cangiamila)
4. Downshire Brass (Professor Michael Alcorn)
5. Brassband Sachsen (Eoin Tonner)
6. Auksiis Brass Band (Laimonas Masevicius)

Challenge Section • Wednesday 29, 15:08:29

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Saturday 2nd of May
Rolf Böhme Saal—Konzerthaus Freiburg
EBBC Challenge Section own choice programme
including set test piece “Origenes” by Carlos Cardenas

Derwent Brass - THIS IS DERWENT 30! Gala Concert

Saturday 9 July • Allestree Woodlands School Theatre, Blenheim Drive, Allestree, Derby DE22 2LW

Lofthouse 2000 Brass Band - Summer Music Sunday - RHS Harlow Carr Gardens

Sunday 10 July • RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. Crag Lane. Harrogate. HG3 1QB HG3 1QB

Thundersley Brass Band - 'Best of British' themed Summer Concert

Sunday 10 July • Richmond Hall,. Richmond Avenue. Benfleet. Essex SS7 5HA

Boarshurst Silver Band - Milnrow Band

Sunday 10 July • Boarshurst Band Club. Greenbridge Lane. Greenfield. Saddleworth OL3 7EW

Otterbourne Brass -

Sunday 10 July • Chandlers Ford Methodist Church so532gj

Crofton Silver Band

July 5 • SOLO CORNET & BACK ROW CORNET. Crofton Silver Band are looking for Solo & Back Row Cornets to add to their line up as the band looks forward to celebrating its 150th Anniversary next year with an exciting mix of concerts and contests.

Crofton Silver Band

July 5 • FLUGEL. Due to work commitments, Crofton Silver Band are looking for a Flugel to add to their line up as the band looks forward to celebrating its 150th Anniversary next year with an exciting mix of concerts and contests.

Enderby Band

July 5 • We are looking for a cornet player (position negotiable). We have a variety of concerts/contests scheduled to continue our journey in the Championship Section. We use social events to create fantastic team working, so you would be joining a fab group.

David A. Stowell

Conductor and composer


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