Report & Results: 2021 German Open

3BA Concert Band leads the prize winners on their journey to the European Championships after a fine weekend of music making in Brilon.

  The weekend was a joint initiative between the two leading organisations

The German Open Championships took place over the weekend of the 23rd & 24th October in the pretty German Town of Brilon in the heart of the Sauerland.


A total of eight bands took part at the Gymnsium Petrinum Brilon in what was a new format for the event, with the Deutsche Brass Band Verband linking up with the long established, month long Sauerland Herbst International Brass Festival to present a two-day celebration of the growing popularity of 'British style' brass banding in the country.

After a break of around ten years the DBBV has been keen to revive the German Open to run on alternate years between the German National Championships. Association members worked hard to bring this year's event together as an incentive to bands in their return to post Covid-19 performances.

Unfortunately, the circumstances still meant that a few bands found difficulties in preparing a competition programme in time, resulting in only one band competing in Section A.

Outstanding 3BA

However, keen to ensure that their invitation to the 2022 European Championships in Birmingham came on the back of an outstanding performance, current German Champion, 3BA Concert Band, led by Swiss maestro Corsin Tuor gave an electrifying performance set.

It included Oliver Waespi's 'Other Lives', together with Jacob Vilhelm Larsen's clever 'Emerald Heritage' and a superb rendition of 'Devil's Dance' (Alexander Comitas) by 'Best Soloist' award winner Bernd Geser.

In addition to taking the title 3BA Concert Band also claimed the additional award for the highest awarded points across the whole competition by the adjudicators, Tim de Maeseneer, Katrina Marzella and Festival Director, Prof. Thomas Clamor.

Impressive winners

Section B, was open to 1st and 2nd Division bands, and provided an exciting contest with competitors offering varied programmes containing a test piece and a march or hymn tune.

The impressive winners Brass Band Regensburg under their new dynamic young conductor, Stefan Popp gave finessed performances of 'Osterfjorden' (Stign Aertgeerts), 'Mid all the Traffic' (Leonard Ballantine) and Paul Sharman's effective 'Inclusion', originally commissioned for the 2013 Bolsover Festival.

Runner-up, Woodshockers won the special prize for their performance of T J Powell's classic march, 'The Contestor', alongside Jan Bosveld's 'Match — Rhythm' and Curnow's popular 'Trittico'.

Other bands offered a wide range of pieces from Mendelssohn's 'Fingal's Cave' overture) to Thomas Doss' arresting 'Blackout'.

Youth contenders

Sunday saw the two younger bands in Section C take to the stage in front of a very supportive audience.

Both bands achieved a high mark to ensure qualification to the 2022 European Youth Championships, but it was 3BA Academy Band that just inched ahead to claim the title.

Led by young conductor, David Schöpf, they performed Goff Richards' compelling 'Spirit of Youth', Thierry Deleruyelle's 'Viking Age' and Manuel Renggli's 'Smash'.

Evolution Brass Regensburg justified their 'Best Programme' award with another Goff Richards' 'Fanfare for a New Age', 'Lake of the Moon' (Kevin Houben), Evelyn Glennie's 'Little Prayer' and Paul Lovatt Cooper's popular 'Road to Run'.

The results ceremony took place at the conclusion of the Sunday afternoon Gala Concert given by Belgium's Festival Brass.

Their imaginative programme gave the enthusiastic audience comprising of German Open competing bands and Sauerland Herbst Festival subscribers an opportunity to experience a fine top flight band in equally fine form.

Their set included Peter Graham's 'Rameau Revisited' to Philip Harper's 'Captain from Castile' as well as works by Oliver Waespi and Matthew Hall which left everyone in no doubt as to their quality under conductor Steven Verhaert.


Sauerland Herbst's commitment to the development of the brass banding movement saw the hosting of a hugely informative workshop led by NRW Youth BB Director Martin Schadlich; a four-day course held the previous weekend in the excellent facilities provided by the Musikbildungszentrum Sudwestfalen in Bad Fredeburg.

Martin was assisted by Chris Houlding and Brass Band Willebroek stars Lode and Jonas Violet and Stign Aertgeerts. Willebroek also gave a stunning concert at the conclusion of the course under their charismatic director, Frans Violet.

current German Champion, 3BA Concert Band, led by Swiss maestro Corsin Tuor gave an electrifying performance set4BR

Section A:

Adjudicators: Tim de Maeseneer, Katrina Marzella, Prof. Thomas Clamor

1. 3BA Concert Band (Corsin Tuor) — 193.3

Best Soloist: Bernd Geser (Euphonium)

Section B:

Adjudicators: Tim de Maeseneer, Katrina Marzella, Prof. Thomas Clamor

1. Brass Band Regensburg (Stefan Popp) — 187
2. Woodshokers (Benjamin Markl) — 184.6
3. Nordbayrische Brass Band (Mathias Wehr) — 181
4. Brass Band BlechKLANG (Alexander Richter) — 178.3
5. Brass Band Westfalen (Tobias Schutte) — 174

Best March or Hymn Tune: Woodshockers (The Contestor — T J Powell)

Section C:

Adjudicators: Tim de Maeseneer & Katrina Marzella

1. 3BA Academy Band (David Schöpf) — 186
2. Evolution Brass Regensburg (Thomas Freiss) -184

Best programme: Evolution Brass Regensburg

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