The celebrations following Eikanger Bjorsvik's European title winning success in Oostende has shown no sign of losing its sense of community pride in the band's home city of Bergen.
The Mayor of Lindas Muncipality, Astrid Arhus Byrknes, recently hosted a special concert featuring the band, where guests (above) also included the Mayor of Hordaland Region, Pal Karbo; Bergen's Director of Culture, Harm-Christian Tolden; the President of the Norwegian Band Federation Rita Hirsum Lystad, and the Chairman of the Regional Band Federation, Eivind Hermansen.
The Mayor of Lindas also read a personal message from the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, whilst the band were almost overwhelmed by gifts — including the award of substantial amounts of grant money, which they will now use as they look towards defending their title in Utrecht in 2018.
Band Chairman, Stig Ryland, thanked the Norwegian music community for their congratulations and explained to the invited audience of around 400 people that Eikanger continues to be inspired to lead the whole of the banding movement in the country.
Vice-Chairman, Viggo Bjorge, also made a speech that highlighted the long established links between the band and its community — and especially towards local bands and schools in the Bergen and Hordaland areas.
The concert saw the band perform the last couple of movements from their European own-choice selection of 'Fraternity', whilst they also shared the stage with the local school band from Skodvin, conducted by former Eikanger principal cornet player Henning Anundsen.
To emphasise the importance of brass band tuition in local schools it was revealed that the small school of just 60 pupils has already produced no less than eight European Champions with Eikanger-Bjørsvik and one with Manger Musikklag.
A massed band from different local schools and amateur bands also played marches outside the venue prior to the concert, before everyone joined together at the end of the event for a massed band finale of 'The Circle of Life' by Elton John.
This really was a remarkable community occasion — and a great honour for the band. To be recognised and celebrated in this way was very humblingVice-Chairman, Viggo Bjorge
Viggo Bjorge told 4BR: "This really was a remarkable community occasion — and a great honour for the band. To be recognised and celebrated in this way was very humbling, especially as the gathering included so many friends from other bands and organisations including former national Olympic coach, Kjell Tore Solvang.
Our thanks go to everyone who made this possible and we are delighted to have been able to have brought the European title back to the community we so proudly represent."