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Results: 2011 European Championships

Manger Musikklag take European title back to Norway for first time since 1989 with historic win in Montreux.

Manger

 

After a gap of 22 years, the iconic European Championship trophy will once more reside in Norway, after Manger Musikklag conducted by Peter Sebastian Szilvay claimed a historic victory in Montreux.

Inspired

Their brilliantly inspired twin performances of the set work, ‘Audivi Media Nocte’, and own choice selection of ‘Old Licks Bluesed Up’, saw them take the title by a clear four point winning margin over defending champion Cory, with British Open winners Tredegar in third.

The new banding powers from Holland and Belgium, Brass Band Schoonhoven and Noord-Limburgse took fourth and fifth place, with English National champions, Fairey (Geneva) in sixth.

Priceless title

The Norwegians headed for home on Sunday with a prize package worth 10,000 Euros—but more importantly, with a priceless title declaring them 2011 Champion Band of Europe.

Manger had taken part in the very first European contest in London in 1978, and 34 years and ten appearances later, they finally claimed the title to match the achievement of their great domestic rivals Eikanger Bjorsvik.

Viking assault

Both bands will now form a twin Viking assault when the competition takes place in Rotterdam in 12 months time.

It has taken us many years, but now we can celebrate as European Champions. It means so much to us allHelga Vetos

Chuffed

The Norwegians celebrated long into the Swiss night, both at the post contest entertainment and back at their hotel—none more so than Helge Vetos, the bands 2nd euphonium player who has played with the band at every appearance since that inaugural contest.

"I am very happy for all the band," she said. "It has taken us many years, but now we can celebrate as European Champions. It means so much to us all."

The bands brilliant bass trombonist Camilla Soderstrom Tveit admitted that although the band knew they had played well, the win still came as a surprise: "We are totally, totally delighted," she told 4BR at the Stravinski Hall. "We thought we may have come sixth, but now we are totally, chuffed!"

Basis of victory

The basis of the victory came courtesy of a thrilling performance of the set work on Friday evening, which gave Manger a clear two point margin over the impressive Belgians of Noord Limburgse, with Brass Band Schoonhoven in third.

With Tredegar in fourth, it meant that the reigning champions Cory had to be content with fifth place, 5 points behind.

Claw back

It proved a margin they could not claw back, despite delivering a ferociously brilliant own choice winning performance of ‘From Ancient Times’ on Saturday that brought the audience at the hall to their feet, and gave superstar soprano player Bert Van Thienan the prestigious ‘Solo Award’.

However, with Manger also producing a stunning rendition of the Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen work they used at the Norwegian Championships in February, the defending champion could only end up a point ahead.

Claimed crown

With Tredegar’s darkly hued performance of Gavin Higgins’ contemporary music inspired by the Marquis de Sade and Treize Etoiles elegant Kenneth Downie ‘Concerto’ unable to be separated in third place a further point behind, it meant that Manger had finally claimed the European crown.

There were audible gasps heard around the hall as the top five prize winners were revealed in reverse order—as some of the points differences over the two days by two different juries were wide.

Reflect

A disappointed Fairey (Geneva) had to be content with sixth place overall despite wowing the audience on their own choice selection from the pen of Simon Dobson. They were left to reflect on a set work rendition that didn’t quite see the English champions at their very best on the Friday.

Meanwhile, the impressive Noord Limburgse may well look back on an own choice selection of ‘Montage’, that didn’t quite allow them to build on their highly impressive set work performance which ended Friday in second place.

Delight

There was delight on the faces of Schoonhoven players as they produced two solid performances to come fourth, whilst Tredegar’s pair of high class renditions under Ian Porthouse deservedly claimed a podium finish.

Despite Cory’s immense efforts to reclaim lost ground, there was no denying that the musical brilliance of Manger had produced a worthy European champion, whilst there was almost universal agreement that the three best bands over the weekend were rightly rewarded for their performances.

Swiss delight

Earlier, there was Swiss delight in the B Section, after Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia directed by Michael Bach produced an outstanding programme to claim the first prize package worth over 6,700 Euros.

They too beat defending champions—Austrian Band of the University of Graz by a single point, with the German representatives and former champions Brass Band Oberschwaben—Allgau six point further back in third.

Further retrospectives, videos and images from Montreux will appear on 4BR as soon as possible.

Championship Section:

Test piece: Test piece: 'Audivi Media Nocte' (Oliver Waespi)

Adjudicators:
Set Work:
Frode Amundson (Norway), Eric Crees (UK) and Thomas Doss (Austria)

Own Choice:
Blaise Heritier (Switzerland), Luc Vertommen (Belgium) and Allan Withington (UK)

Results:

1. Manger Musikklag [Norway], 4/6, 94/97 =191
Peter Szilvay

2. Cory Band [Wales], 2/10, 89/98 =187
Dr Robert Childs

3. Tredegar [Wales], 5/9, 90/96 =186
Ian Porthouse

4. Brass Band Schoonhoven [Netherlands], 10/4, 91/94 =185
Erik Janns

5. Noord-Limburgse [Belgium], 7/2, 92/92 =184
Ivan Meylemans

6. Fairey (Geneva) [England], 3/5, 87/93 =180
Russell Gray

7. Treize-Etoiles [Switzerland], 1/3, 83/96 =179
James Gourlay

8. Windcorp [Sweden], 9/8, 86/89 =175
Garry Cutt

9. Lyngby-Taarbaek [Denmark], 6/1, 85/90 =175
Selmer Simonsen

10. Kingdom Brass [Scotland], 8/7, 81/84 =165
Andrew Duncan

Best Soloist: Bert van Thienan [Soprano] — Cory

B Section:

Test piece: 'Vertex' (Stephen Hodel) and Own Choice programme

Adjudicators:
Frode Amundson (Norway), Eric Crees (UK) and Thomas Doss (Austria)

Results:

1. Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia [Switzerland], 5, 94
Michael Bach,

2. Austria Brass Band of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz [Austria], 2, 93
Professor Uwe Koller

3. Brass Band Oberschwaben Allgau [Germany], 4, 87
Peter Schmid

4. Messina Brass [Italy], 3, 85
Paratore Guiseppe

5. Exo Brass [France], 1, 84
Gildas Harnois


Best Soloist: Michael Muller, Euphonium — Brass Band Oberschwaben Allgau [Germany]



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Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist