The recent Annual General Meeting of Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag saw major changes agreed in both the organisation's management structure and its commitment to long term youth development in its region.
Astrid Aarhus Byrknes becomes the new Leader of the Board of the multiple Norwegian National Champion — the first female to hold the role in the band's history.
She takes over from Stig Ryland who led the band with great distinction over the last five years, one which saw the band reclaim the European title for the first time since 1989 with a memorable victory in Oostende in 2017.
Astrid Aarhus Byrknes is a highly respected former regional mayor with high profile business connections. She has also been associated with the band for many years, supporting them at the European event in 2012 in Rotterdam as well as being a regular supporter of the Norwegian National Championships in Bergen.
Speaking about the appointment, spokesperson Viggo Bjørge told 4BR that appointment marked another important milestone for the band — which this year marks the 40th anniversary of its first National title success.
"We welcome Astrid as the new Leader of the Board and thank Stig for his five years of outstanding service.
Eikanger has worked hard during the lockdown period to strengthen our links to our community both musically and in business, and Astrid's appointment will further boost our development in these areas.
Financially we have been fortunate to strengthen links to generous supporters who share our artistic vision and which now enables us to make long term plans with secure finances in place."
Eikanger has worked hard during the lockdown period to strengthen our links to our community both musically and in business, and Astrid's appointment will further boost our development in these areasEBM
Viggo revealed that the band will now take over the running and organisation of the Hordaland Ungdoms Brass Band (HUBB).
The pioneering regional youth band initiative has built up a respected reputation for inspiring young players over the last 15 years, as well as look at other artistic initiatives that will enable them to reach out to a wider brass band audience.
"HUBB has been a remarkable success over the years, but the Covid-19 pandemic has hit it hard," Viggo said.
"With our own youth initiatives to gain experience from, both organisations felt it was the right time to combine and for Eikanger to take over the running of the band.
In addition to our own ambitious plans for audience interaction and development, it means we can continue to offer the young musicians of Hordaland musical inspiration for many years to come, combining our skills and experience together.
The ethos of HUBB that has been led so well by Ole Johan Aarlie and Kjersti Pisani fits very well into Eikanger-Bjørsvik's thoughts and ambitions."
He added: "We are delighted to be able to carry that on in a new era. Encouraging youth is in our DNA and we were delighted that the board of HUBB thought it was an ideal way forward to join forces in a new way."