Despite the news of the cancellation of the Siddis entertainment contest in Norway, there will be plenty of outstanding brass band music to enjoy later today from the Bergen area thanks to the combined efforts of Eikanger-Bjørsvik and Manger Musikklag Bands.
They are hosting a special evening concert (5.00pm UK time/6.00pm local time) at a nearby church in Knarvik just 500 meters or so from the Eikanger rehearsal facility.
They will be joined by an invited socially distanced audience of 100 brass band lovers — and hopefully hundreds more with a free live on-line broadcast through Facebook.
Manger Musikklag, conducted by Martin Winter will open the concert with Edward Gregson's early test piece composition 'The Plantagenets'.
That will be followed by tuba soloist Jonas Puntervoll performing Schubert's 'Erster Verlust' arranged by Torstein Aagard-Nilsen and 'Gloria' from 'Messa per Percussione' by Knut Nystedt.
The wonderful 'Elegy' from 'A Downland Suite' will provide classic contrast before the band finishes with Philip Sparke's 'The Year of the Dragon'.
Due to COVID-19 regulations the interval will be used to ensure health and safety protocols are met, with interviews taking place with those taking part, led by compere Astrid Aarhus Byrknes, a former Mayor of the local Municipality and Eikanger-Bjørsvik board member.
The second half will see Eikanger led by Reid Gilje, who recently celebrated 20 years as their resident conductor opening with 'The Triumph of Peace' by Eric Ball.
Peter Meechan's 'Song of Hope' and the 'Intermezzo from Suite No.1' by Gustav Holst will lead into the trombone solo 'Fields of Gold' performed by Vidar Nordli. The band will round off the concert with Peter Graham's 'Dynasty' — the test-piece used at the 2019 British Open Championships.
They will be joined by an invited socially distanced audience of 100 brass band lovers — and hopefully hundreds more with a free live on-line broadcast through Facebook4BR
Speaking to 4BR about the concert, Eikanger spokesperson Viggo Bjorge said that everyone was delighted that the event could take place, despite the challenges imposed by COVID-19.
"It's wonderful that the two bands from the Municipality are able to come together for this unique concert. Our thanks go to everyone who has worked so hard to put it on and we hope the audience at the venue and brass band lovers across the world will enjoy the music making."