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New Zealand to celebrate Vinter at National Championships

The oldest National Championship in the world will celebrate the life of Gilbert Vinter, as two of his greatest compositions are to be the set-works for the A and B Grade bands in Hamilton.

New Zealand
  The New Zealand National Championships will take place in Hamilton for the first time since 1979

4BR has been informed that preparations are already well underway in New Zealand for the 139th National Championships which are due to take place in the historic city of Hamilton from 10th to 14th July.


It has been announced that as 2019 is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Gilbert Vinter and the 50th anniversary of his death, the competitors in the A and B Grade sections will perform 'Variations on a Ninth' and 'Triumphant Rhapsody' respectively as the set-works.

'Variations on a Ninth' was written in 1964, for the National Championship of Great Britain — the duality of its inspiration in typical Vinter fashion being the interval of an initial ninth (although soon expanded to a resonant 13th), which is worked into a series of nine inventive variations — including a famous set of cadenzas for soprano, horn, baritone and euphonium — later followed by the cornet.

It has remained a popular work — and was utilised as the test-piece at the British Open in 1981, the Swiss National Championship in 1986 and the Grand Shield in 1996.

'Triumphant Rhapsody' was written in 1965 and also used at the National Final. Also inspired by musical intervals — it was originally to be called 'A Matter of Seconds' although Vinter was asked to rename it, despite its inventive use of both seconds and sevenths throughout.

It has subsequently been used at events around the world; from the Australian, Belgian and Netherlands Championships to own-choice selections at the European Championships. It is also to be used as the set-work for the 2019 Senior Trophy.

Both pieces have been used as set-works at the New Zealand Championships in 1965 and 1966.

as 2019 is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Gilbert Vinter and the 50th anniversary of his death, the competitors in the A and B Grade sections will perform 'Variations on a Ninth' and 'Triumphant Rhapsody'4BR

Dobson and Chaulk

In the other sections of competition, Simon Dobson's evocative 'Penlee' has been selected for the C Grade, and as a tribute to the late David Chaulk, his reflective work 'Meditation on St Clement' will be performed by bands in the D Grade.

The chief adjudicator for the five-day contest will be the renowned Belgian musician, educator and conductor Dr Luc Vertommen who will make his first visit to the country to experience its rich brass banding culture and welcome.

The assistant chief adjudicator is Major Graham Hickman, Director of Music of the New Zealand Army Band

A spokesperson told 4BR: "It has been 40 years since the championships were last held in the city and the local band and its wider community is very much looking forward to this event."

For more information visit www.brasschamps2019.nz

Facebook page https:/­/­www.facebook.com/­NZBrassBandChampsHamilton2019/

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Chris Wormald

B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, adjudicator, arranger