Memorable Norwegian anniversary for Snell

One of the great musical and personal marriages was celebrated in memorable style as Howard Snell and his wife Angela returned to Eikanger.

Howard Snell

Howard Snell recently made a memorable return to conduct the Eikanger-Bjørsvik Band for the first time in three years, as he led the Norwegian champion in a high profile concert featuring a quintet of classic brass band test pieces.

Contest Music

Entitled, ‘Contest Music’ – and appropriately featuring Wilfred Heaton’s masterful composition, the event took place in Bergen’s wonderful Korskirken Church.

A large and appreciative audience also enjoyed performances of Percy Fletcher’s ‘Epic Symphony’, ‘Comedy Overture’ by John Ireland, Eric Ball’s ‘A Kensington Concerto’ and ‘Variations on an Enigma’ by Philip Sparke, in a concert that received critical acclaim in local, regional and national press.

Euro anniversary

Band spokesperson Viggo Bjørge told 4BR that the event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Eikanger’s ground breaking 1988 European Championship victory – a success masterminded by the conductor.

"Howard has been a great mentor to everybody associated with Eikanger-Bjørsvik since he first came to visit us in the autumn of 1986.

Every visit since has been eagerly anticipated and enjoyed – and this was no exception. Everyone who has a love for brass knows just how important his contribution has been to this band."


The latest visit saw the conductor lead four days of intense rehearsal following the essential ground work laid in preparation by MD, Reid Gilje, and the band still had just enough stamina left after such an exhaustive programme to give a wonderful rendition of Heaton’s ‘Praise’ as an encore.

The inclusion of Philip Sparke’s ‘Variations on an Enigma’ was especially poignant, as it was the work that the band played on both its 1988 and 1989 European victories under his baton.

Howard has been a great mentor to everybody associated with Eikanger-Bjørsvik since he first came to visit us in the autumn of 1986Viggo Bjørge

Special invitation

A special invitation was sent out to former members who had played on the victories, to once again perform with the band.

"We invited all the players from those two memorable victories to join us once more," Viggo Bjørge explained. "It was wonderful to see so many take to the stage once more."

Still there

Amazingly, trombonists Grethe Tonheim and Sølvi Ones still play solo and second trombone with the 2013 band, with a trio of former players, including current MD Reid Gilje, vice-chairman Viggo Bjørge and musical advisor and arranger Frode Rydland also performing.

Memorable flight

To round off the memorable trip, Howard Snell and his wife Angela were taken on a special flight to celebrate their own 50 years of marriage.

On the morning of the concert they took off in a small plane to see the Hordaland region where the band is based from the air, with the Eikanger connection maintained by the pilot Adrian Gjendemsjø, the son of two players who played under Howard on one of his first trips to the band.

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


Global links for Tredegar Euph star

October 26 • Welsh champion's Taiwanese euphonium star is building his teaching connections across the globe from his new home in South Wales.


Report & Results: 2021 German Open

October 26 • 3BA Concert Band leads the prize winners on their journey to the European Championships after a fine weekend of music making in Brilon.

Champions of Brass

The Champions return...

October 26 • The debut concert appearance of Champions of Brass — packed with more titles to their names than the British Library will be held later this year — so book your ticket now.


National Youth announce Conductor Competition finalists

October 25 • Six talented conductors claim their places in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain Conductor Competition Final.

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra

Friday 5 November • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. WC1 2 DJ WC1 2 DJ

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Sunday 7 November • St Alfege Church. Greenwich Church St. London SE10 9BJ

Abertillery Town Band - 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

Saturday 13 November • Metropole Cultural and Conference Centre, Mitre St, Abertillery NP13 1AL

Regent Hall Concerts - Magli Brass Quintet

Friday 19 November • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. WC1 2 DJ WC1 2 DJ

Contest: Youth Brass in Concert

Saturday 20 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR

Wotton and District Silver Band

October 26 • Vacancy for PERCUSSIONIST.

wantage silver band

October 25 • Wantage Band (L&SC championship section) seek applications for the positions of Principal Cornet and Bass (position negotiable). Read more at www.wantageband.org/vacancies for all information inc. other opportunities and potential mileage allowance.

Mole Veterans Band

October 24 • Players required in all areas, but particularly tutti cornets and horns

Andreas Kratz

Mus.B (hons)
Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher


 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd