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2016 European test pieces announced

Works inspired by a horrific coal mining disaster and the Biblical character of Samson will test bands in Lille in a few months time...



A new composition inspired by one of the most horrific coal mining disasters in history has been chosen as the set-work for the Championship Section of the 39th European Championships in Lille in April.


'Fraternity' has been written by the respected French composer Thierry Deleruyelle and consists of seven sections played as a continuous whole.

It commemorates the centenary of the Courrieres mine disaster in Northern France, which resulted in the death of 1,099 miners (including children) on 10th March 1906.

Although around six hundred miners were able to reach the surface during the hours immediately after the coal dust explosion, many were severely injured.


A group of thirteen survivors, known later as the rescapes, was found by rescuers on 30th March, twenty days after the explosion. They survived by slaughtering one of the mine horses for food, with two men later awarded the Legion d'honneur and the other eleven the Medaille d'or du courage. A last survivor was found on 4th April.

The horrific aftermath of the coal dust explosion was widely reported in the French media and resulted in a fund that raised over 750,000 francs, although the political response to the working conditions in the French mining industry shockingly inept.

Highly respected

Deleruyelle is a highly respected, conductor and percussionist, who graduated from the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris (CNSM). He is Professor of Percussion and Orchestration at the Douai's Conservatoire and has written extensively for orchestras and won international compositions competitions in Saint-Amand-les-eaux and Haize Berriak.


EBBA has also announced the set-work for the Challenge Section event — 'Samson' by Rudolphe Schacher.

Described by the composer as a 'Symphonic Poem for Brass Band', it draws on aspects of the Old Testament Nazirite character of Samson — the music describing his various adventures (found in Judges 13-16) and exploring the major themes of belief, heroism, love, betrayal and revenge.

'Fraternity' has been written by the respected French composer Thierry Deleruyelle and consists of seven sections played as a continuous whole4BR


Schacher is a Franco-Swiss composer and pianist who studied music in Paris, Geneva and Zurich, under the direction of Michael Jarrell, Thierry Escaich, Gerald Bennett and Ulrich Koella.

At the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris he was awarded five first prizes and received a diploma of composition and theory with distinction. He also received a concert diploma in chamber music at the Haute Ecole d'Arts of Zurich. He currently teaches analysis and writing at the Haute Ecole de Musique at Geneva and at Lausanne.

Since 2004, he has regularly received commissions from major Swiss orchestras and ensembles, with his most recent projects, an opera for the Lucerne Theatre in 2012 and a musical for the City of Zug in 2015.

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Stuart Black

BA (Hons) Music
Conductor, Teacher, Flugel soloist