A blow has been dealt to the substantial progress being made in the Italian brass banding movement, with news that the 2018 National Championship, which was due to have taken place in Novi Ligure in the Piedmont region near Milan in November, has been cancelled.
Since the first event in Ascoli Piceno in 2016, and led by the indefatigable efforts of trombone star Lito Fontana, the Concorso Nazionale Championships have become one of the most enjoyable and vibrant of contests, with the 2017 event in Bolzano a great success.
It has also led to the likes of the Italian Brass Band under Filippo Cangiamila and Brass Band Wipptal proudly represent the nation at the European Championship — winning in four of the last five years.
However, despite the set-back, Lito Fontana told 4BR that arrangements are already under way to hold a bi-annual event from 2019 — starting in Vipiteno on the Italian/Austrian border.
"I am so sorry to report that the Championships this year have had to be cancelled due to several economical and organisational problems," he said.
We believe a competition every two years will help us further develop grass roots brass banding and to ensure we are not faced with the late problems which have affected us this yearLito Fontana
He added: "Everyone has been working hard to build the Italian brass band movement and although we are all disappointed that the event cannot go ahead this year, we will hold it in 2019 to include brass band ensembles from leading conservatoires as well as community bands.
We believe a competition every two years will help us further develop grass roots brass banding and to ensure we are not faced with the late problems which have affected us this year."