The Great Lakes Brass Band Association hosted a vibrant US Open Championship at the Clarkston Performing Arts Center in Clarkston, Michigan.
The move to the Detroit area proved to be a natural fit for a contest, with the state of Michigan having a proud brass band history.
Cross border battle
There was plenty of fine cross border entertainment on offer for the audience to enjoy and for the panel of adjudicators William Himes, Jessica Sneeringer and Tony Granados to compare and contrast in the Championship and Challenge Sections.
The Challenge Section opened the contest day and saw a clean sweep from Michigan based bands, led by Motor City Brass Band under the direction of Gordon Ward, performing Peter Graham's 'Windows of the World' suite.
It proved a worthy winner to lead home Capital City Brass Band, with Mid-Michigan Brass in third.
Five Lakes triumphant
The Blue Riband Championship Section followed in the afternoon with the title eventually being claimed by Detroit's own Five Lakes Silver Band. The debutants were conducted by Christopher Ward and opened in choreographed fashion with Frederick Schjelderup's Beethoven inspired 'A Fantasy of Joy'.
The emotive sounds of 'Prelude to 49th Parallel; by Vaughan-Williams was contrasted with the whit of Caleb Goncz's outstanding xylophone solo rendition of Mozart's 'Rondo Alla Turca' arranged by Paul Lovatt-Cooper.
Khachaturian's energetic 'Russian Dance', complete with audience participation segued neatly into a further classical link with the final section of Johan de Meij's Tchaikovsky inspired 'Extreme Makeover'. The standing ovation from the audience was thoroughly deserved.
In addition to taking the title the band also claimed the prizes for 'best' basses, trombones, cornets, and percussion, as well as the coveted 'Most Entertaining Band' award.
Speaking about the success, MD Christophe Ward told 4BR: "We are very proud of the today's result and we would like to thank the Great Lakes Brass Band Association, the Clarkston Performing Arts Center, and Niermeyer family — the family behind the US Open name — for making this event possible.
He added: "We'll certainly enjoy the moment and this fantastic achievement, but then it's back to work. There's a real drive and desire to keep improving in this band. We are always striving for the next level.
We're on an incredible musical journey together, and I can't thank the band enough for their commitment and their trust in me and to each other."
Welcome Canadian visitors Weston Silver Band from Toronto was second with their exceptional euphonium player Robert Miller dazzling with his sparkling rendition of 'Vallflickens Dans' to take the 'Best Individual Performer' accolade. Oakland University Brass Band was placed third.
The Championships ended with an exhibition performance by the hosting Clarkston High School Brass Band, under the direction of Five Lakes soprano cornet Mike Flickinger.
1. Five Lakes Silver Band
2. Weston Silver Band
3. Oakland University Brass Band
The Niermeyer Award for Most Entertaining Band: Five Lakes Silver Band
1. Motor City Brass Band
2. Capital City Brass Band
3. Mid Michigan Brass Band
Best Individual Performer Championship Section: Robert Miller (euphonium) — Weston Silver Band
Best Individual Performer Challenge Section: Jennifer Kmet (horn) — Motor City
Best Performance of a Solo: Robert Miller (euphonium) — Weston Silver
Best New Composition or Arrangement: Symphony No 10, Mvt 2 (Shostakovich arr. Joshua Jameson & Andrew DeWeese)
Best Performance of a March: Weston Silver (Ravenswood)
Best Cornet Section: Five Lakes Silver Band
Best Flugel & Tenor Horn Section: Weston Silver Band
Best Trombone Section: Five Lakes Silver Band
Best Euphonium & Baritone Section: Weston Silver Band
Best Bass Section: Five Lakes Silver Band
Best Percussion Section: Five Lakes Silver Band
Best Busker: Dublin Silver Band