Jena Summer Camp hailed as success

The inventive response taken by organisers in Germany has seen over 60 youngsters enjoy a four day Summer Camp with a difference.

  The course saw socially distanced rehearsals led by Philippe Bach (above) and Chris Houlding

The first ever Summer Brass Band Camp in Jena, Germany, has just finished and has been hailed as a great success.

The new event was organised by the German Brass Band Association, and was put in place by Alexander Richter, the Musical Director of Brass Band BlechKLANG who worked alongside Katrin Weber, the Director of the KLANGwelt orchestral school.

It was led by the inspirational figures of conductor Philippe Bach and professional trombone player and educator, Chris Houlding.

Huge hit

The four day Summer Camp was proposed as an alternative to the usual Summer Brass Band Camp which had to cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It proved to be a huge hit with the young delegates as well as the tutors, with Philippe telling 4BR: "It's hard to believe, but my last collaboration with a brass band was actually in December 2019, so I haven't been able to pursue this passion for over half a year.

This is the type of bug we should all wish to contract — one of joyful brass band music making!"

Hard work

The hard work of the non for profit Blasmusikverein Carl Zeiss Jena e.V. organisation which is home to the four brass bands of Brass Band BlechKLANG, Jugend Brass Band BlechKLANG, Show Brass Band VielKLANG, Junior Brass Band KLANGwelt was also backed by the orchestra school KLANGwelt and the Competence Centre for Brass Band.

It meant that despite the challenges over 60 delegates were able to enjoy the invaluable experience based in two bands — one for those under 16 years of age, one for those over 16.

Works such as 'Starburst' by Dan Price and 'A Tallis Anthem' by the Dutch composer Geert-Jan Kroon were rehearsed and performed by the older participants, whilst the younger ones worked on pieces such as 'Jungle Dance' by Andrea Hobson.

As a result, it was a great pleasure to feel the energy of all participants, to observe the great progress in a very short time and to experience the fun of music!Chris Houlding


In addition to the ensemble rehearsals, masterclasses were given on a variety of playing topics, with Chris Houlding telling 4BR: "When I received the invitation from Alexander Richter, I was immediately enthusiastic, not only because I knew from experience that a perfectly organised event awaited me, but also because I was extremely aware of the importance of such a workshop.

Where else is the "essence of brass band culture" more present than when making music together?

As a result, it was a great pleasure to feel the energy of all participants, to observe the great progress in a very short time and to experience the fun of music!"

Very happy

In response, Alexander Richter said: "I am very happy that we were able to realise a summer camp this year in particular.

The atmosphere during the whole course was incredibly positive and our special thanks go to all supporters and partners such as Besson, Denis Wick, the foundation of the Sparkasse Jena and the MAXX-Hotel Jena who made it possible — but especially those that attended."

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    

Alan Fernie

Fernie reflects on sense of banding optimism in Scotland

May 12 • Composer Alan Fernie has written five small ensemble works to enable bands to enjoy their forthcoming return to rehearsals...


Chetham's invite for Brass Ensemble Academy

May 12 • Young players can enjoy the opportunity of developing their playing with the help of a day long course at Chetham's School of Music


4BR Wednesday interview with Prof Nicholas Childs

May 12 • 4BR talks to the Black Dyke Director of Music as his Queensbury Band looks forward to a return to the concert and contest platforms — both indoors and out..

Childs and Dobson

Childs and Dobson inspire Virtual European victories

May 12 • Performances by Black Dyke and Valaisia Brass Band claimed the favourite voter accolades in the recent wobplay virtual European Brass Band Festival.

Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Sunday 19 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL40 4SH

Contest: National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

Saturday 2 October • Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP

Contest: Youth Brass in Concert

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

Essex Police Band

May 11 • Percussionist required. Preferably with experience playing in Brass Band, Wind Band or Orchestra. We do not contest but play to a good standard and play a variety of contempory and historical music.

Essex Police Band

May 11 • Musical Director required. We are a friendly band, based in Chelmsford Essex with a core of competent players and perform at a variety of events across Essex and in surrounding areas. We rehearse every Wednesday evening at Police HQ Chelmsford

St Dennis Band

May 10 • The St Dennis Band - Cornwall (Championship Section/Grand Shield) invites expressions of interest for the position of PRINCIPAL CORNET. Based in Mid Cornwall and just 5 minutes off the A30, the band rehearses every Monday and Thursday at 19:45.

Neil Samuel



 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd