Eikanger Bjorsvik Band is looking towards securing it the long term future with ambitious plans to formally take over their rehearsal facility, including the immediate area surrounding it, to provide an educational centre for banding that will serve both its needs and that of its local Hordaland community.
The band has been based at Musikkhuset since April 2004 and currently rents the premises, allowing it also to be used by their local school band, Knarvik Skulekorps and the First Section band, Oster Brass
However, with a view to becoming a driving force in helping develop the future generations of brass and percussion players within the banding movement, and to make closer links to the educational sector, plans have been discussed for a new structure that will include an extra rehearsal and recording studio, and several smaller practise rooms.
Speaking to 4BR about the ambitions, Band Manager and Vice-Chairman Viggo Bjørge said: "Our rehearsal base is a very good room with the potential to give us an excellent venue for activities.
The desire to be able to offer both youth and adult bands time and space in what we believe can become a centre of music making is the long term ambition."
He added: "The ongoing pandemic has also taught us that we may need larger rooms from time to time.
We are prepared to take the responsibility to create this centre and will work together with financial partners and the local authorities to see if these plans can be brought to fruition."
The desire to be able to offer both youth and adult bands time and space in what we believe can become a centre of music making is the long term ambitionVice-Chairman Viggo Bjorge
The plans have already gained widespread interest, with the regional newspaper already running a feature on it. However, at present the bandroom remains empty as Covid-19 restrictions in Norway mean that banding in the Hordaland region to over the Christmas period.
Viggo explained: "There are positive signs that the second wave of Covid 19 is on retreat. The 'R number' is currently at 0.8 in the Bergen region. With that in mind the band is slightly optimistic for a much better year ahead in 2021.
There is light on the horizon for Norwegian banding and that it will return in a much more structured way in the New Year.
It's during the tough times that the long term plans for development and quality need to be made. We are doing that at Eikanger and I'm sure others are too."