Brass Band Schoonhoven won the Dutch Open at the De Lawei Theatre in Drachten on the weekend in high-class, enterprising style.
Under the direction of Ivan Meylemans, their confidently delivered 30-minute set claimed a narrow, single point margin of victory over Dutch National champion De Waldsang, with Brass Band Groningen in third.
The winner took away the Dutch Open trophy plus the 500 Euro first prize, as well as the opportunity to perform in a Yamaha sponsored event later in the year.
Schoonhoven opened with 'Sang Till Norden' arranged by Lode Violet, before soloist Denis Vork gave a mini-masterclass in the art of flugel playing with a wonderful rendition of Rachmaninov's 'Zdes' Khorosho' ('How Fair This Place') to deservedly take the 'Best Soloist' award.
They rounded things off with a scorching performance of their own-choice test-piece, 'Perihelion- Closer to the Sun'.
The judges were suitably impressed. "Great playing throughout the programme and a fantastic performance of Perihelion" wrote Jan Van der Roost, whilst Danny Oosterman added: "I really enjoyed these performances by a great band and conductor."
Speaking to the Dutch website CUBrass who covered the event, the winning MD said that he couldn't have asked for anything more form his hard working band. "I'm thrilled and very proud by the way they played," Ivan Meylemans said.
"After such a busy period I couldn't have asked for anything more. We needed to deliver as the last band to perform and we did just that."
Meanwhile, Band Manager Leon Monteny told 4BR: "The band played very well, especially on the test piece 'Perihelion' and with our soloist Denis Vork on tremendous form.
We have continued to work hard since enjoying our involvement in the European Solo Competition, and we now look forward to playing at the Gala Concert of the Duren Brass Summer School in Germany. This victory is also a huge boost as we will prepare for the Dutch National Championships later this year."
National champions second
Seeking to make it a National/Open 'Double', De Wâldsang Buitenpost led by Rieks van der Velde pushed their rivals all the way to the finishing line to end runner-up for a second time.
They opened with 'Fanfare in Orange' by Christian Overhead followed by 'Abide with Me', the solo 'Moon Song, Sun Dance' featuring Mariska Postma on flugel, and a reprise of their recent European Championship own-choice selection of 'Fraternity'. Their excellent percussion team took the CU Brass Award 'Best Section' award.
Meanwhile, a highly entertaining Provinciale Brass Band Groningen led by Richard Visser took the final podium place and 'Most Innovative Programme' award.
They opened with 'Cadillac of the Silver Screen' before exploring Welsh lyricism in 'Calon Lan', the perils of outer space in 'Destination Moon' and the evangelical celebrations of 'Can't nobody do me like Jesus' to close'.
Defending champion Brass Band Rijnmond, seeking a hat-trick of victories, failed to find favour with the adjudication team of Jan Van der Roost and Danny Oosterman as they came seventh, beaten by the top-six finishers of Soli Brass, Pro Rege Heerenveen and Amsterdam Brass.
In the Second Division there was victory for Brass Band Constantijn Huygens led by Richard Visser, as they delivered in fine style to claim the 250 Euro first prize.
Opening with 'Prismatic Light' by Alan Fernie, they showed contrast with 'Lord, Thou Art Questioning', before delivering an exciting filmatic account of their own-choice test piece, 'Babylon' by Thibaut Bruniaux and 'Solum Valeo' by Dean Jones to close.
It gave the band a clear two-point margin of victory over rivals Brass Band De Bazuin Oenkerk B, who took the 'Best Section' and 'Best Soloist' prize.
They opened with 'Capriccio for Brass', before cornet player Johanna Schonrock delivered a cultured rendition of 'II Himmelen' before 'Bellum et Pax' was followed by 'Light Walk'.
Meanwhile, Belgian visitors Brass Band Mercator took the 'Most Innovative Programme Award' in coming third, with a set that opened with 'Through the Flames' before moving through 'Black Hole' from 'Supernova', 'Ex Terra Lucem' and 'Balkan Dance'.
This victory is also a huge boost as we will prepare for the Dutch National Championships later this yearBrass Band Schoonhoven
Adjudicators: Jan Van der Roost & Danny Oosterman
1. Brass Band Schoonhoven (Ivan Meylemans) — 96
2. De Wâldsang Buitenpost (Rieks van der Velde) — 95
3. Provinciale Brass Band Groningen (Richard Visser) — 92
4. Soli Brass (Anne van den Berg) — 91
5. Pro Rege Heerenveen (Anne van den Berg) — 89
6. Amsterdam Brass (Pierre Volders) — 87
7. Brass Band Rijnmond (Erik van de Kolk) — 86
Solo Prize: Dennis Vork (flugel) — Brass Band Schoonhoven
Most Innovative Programme Award: Provinciale Brassband Groningen
CUBrass Best Section Prize: Percussion (De Wâldsang Buitenpost)
1. Brass Band Constantijn Huygens (Richard Visser) — 94
2. Brass Band De Bazuin Oenkerk B (Sietse Hamersma) — 92
3. Brass Band Mercator (Lode Violet) — 91
4. Brass Band Roosendaal (Frank de Jong) — 87
Solo Prize: Johanna Schonrock — cornet (Brass Band De Bazuin Oenkerk B)
Most Innovative Programme: Brass Band Mercator
CUBrass Best Section Prize: Percussion (Brass Band De Bazuin Oenkerk B)