Brass Band entrepreneurs in Belgium have announced proposals to hold an annual international brass band contest, starting in 2012, which they hope will become one of the most prestigious events in the banding world.
The inaugural championship level event, with a proposed prize fund of over 25,000 Euros, will take place on the weekend of the 11th/12th November next year, based at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven, with up to 18 top ranked bands taking part.
Speaking exclusively to 4BR, Michael Dils, President of the International Brass Band Contest said: "The contest is for Championship Division bands only. We have already had a great deal of interest from bands in Europe, the UK and the rest of the world, for what we believe is an ambitious and innovative contest format."
Two day split
Michael revealed that the contest will be split into two disciplines – the first half of which on the Saturday will see competitors perform an own choice test piece, whilst the following day they will perform a second own choice test piece, plus a set overture and a featured a solo item from within their band personnel.
Meanwhile, the adjudication will be in the hands of seven separate judges, with the highest and lowest scores discounted on each of the two days to give an overall winner.
Michael added: "I can confirm that Brighouse & Rastrick has indicated that it will compete at the event and will be our featured band in our Gala Concert, whilst the prize fund will be allocated between the top 10 bands.
We hope to be able to help with some of the transport and accommodation costs involved to assist bands making the trip, and also have a pre draw two weeks before the contest to help them too."
I can confirm that Brighouse & Rastrick has indicated that it will compete at the event and will be our featured band in our Gala Concert, whilst the prize fund will be allocated between the top 10 bandsMichael Dils
Michael has also confirmed that even with up to 18 competitors, time issues on both days will not be a problem.
"We plan to start the Sunday at 9.30am with two bands playing per hour. Even with comforts breaks we will ensure the contest ends at an early time.
We have also chosen a very experienced and respected adjudication team, which we are sure, is outstanding. Not only will they judge this year, but also in following years too to ensure consistency."
Website and Facebook
Bands that are interested in taking part in the event will be able to contact Michael directly from January 1st, with a brand new website and a current Facebook page offering further details.
He concluded: "We will make sure all the details are made available to bands to make a decision well before the closing date of 14th March.
We have a Facebook page for current details, and there will be a brand new website page and contact details made available to all interested parties in January."