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Major changes at 2003 European

The 2003 European has had a very major facelift — we have the details, the schedules and a few questions


Major Changes at the 2003 European Announced

Details have been released by the European Brass Band Association which will mean that there are going to be significant changes to the format of the next European Brass Band Championships that are due to be held in Bergen in Norway next year.

First and foremost will be the change to the Championship Contest itself, which will now take place over two days rather than just the one, as has been the case since the contest was started in 1978.

On the Friday evening, the top bands will perform the test piece section of the contest, whilst the “Own Choice” section will now take place on the Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile the B Section has been radically reviewed so that it becomes a 25-minute “Own Choice” programme contest—minus the need for any set work. This will take place on the Saturday morning.

The Gala Concert will now take place on the Saturday evening after the conclusion of the Championship “Own Choice” section has been completed.

The 2nd European Conductors Competition will start with qualifying rounds on Sunday 27th April and will conclude with the final on Thursday 1st May, whilst the European Youth Brass Band will come together at Bergen for a week long series of rehearsals before giving a concert at the conclusion of the Conductors Competition.

The need for change at the European Championships has been evident for some time—especially for the B Section, but there are some concerns that will need to be discussed and clarified before the contest takes place. 4BR understands that a meeting will be taking place of EBBA representatives at the British Open to discuss these matters. We’ll try to keep you posted of the outcomes.

Many players of the UK bands are employed as teachers, and may find trying to get an extra day off work a problem, whilst there are concerns about the security of maintaining confidentiality and storage of the interim results of the set work contest on the Friday night through to the following day. Also, the question of how the draw will be made for each of the sections—will they be done together as is the case at present or separately on each day?

The exact format of the B Contest is also unclear at this stage, with questions surrounding the exact composition of the 30 minute programmes—are they to be “Entertainment” programmes where anything goes, or are they to have some structure—the inclusion of a original work, soloist, movement from a test piece etc.

We understand that many of these issues are to be addressed at the forthcoming meeting. The EBBA has taken the brave step of looking to enhance the contest weekend further—for both musical and financial reasons, and we hope that this first attempt of developing the contest further will be well thought out and a success. We wish them well.

The formal Press Release from EBBA reads as follows:


The EBBA together with and Norway and the Norwegian Band Federation are looking forward to host the 2003 European Brass Band Championships. The Grieg Hall in Bergen, which is the home of Norwegian Brass Bands, will again host the best Brass Bands of Europe when they gather together for the battle for the European throne. Bergen and the Grieg Hall did already host the European Championships in 1989 and 1996.

The European week in Bergen will contain much more than the European Brass Band Championships itself. The 2nd European Conductor Championships (ECC) will start with qualifying rounds on Sunday the 27th April 2003 will and conclude with the Final on Thursday 1st May 2003.

The European Youth Brass Band will come together in Bergen. The best European youth brass players will spend a week together, socialising, rehearsing and playing a couple of major concerts, among them the prize giving concert at the European Conductor Championships. After Birmingham in 2000 this is the second time that the EYBB come together.

Norway has proposed a new formula for the European Brass Band Championships 2003 to the Executive Committee of EBBA. In recent years some organisers made a loss when organising the EBBC. The problem usually was the Friday with the championships of the B-countries and the Gala-Concert which were most of the times not well attended and provided a big loss.

After having seen the same formula for the EBBC since many years now, the Executive Committee and the Music commission of EBBA decided to change the formula for the EBBC in Bergen. If it works it could be the model for future years.

The side event European Conductors Competition will be held during the week with the final on Thursday evening. The European Championships will be held during two days on Friday and Saturday. It will start with the testpiece of the Championship section on Friday evening. On Saturday morning it will continue with B-section. The Music commission of EBBA have decided a new formula for the B-Section countries. There will be no more test piece for this section. They will play an own choice program of 25 minutes. This should make the European Championships with all the travel and accommodation expenses much more attractive for these upcoming new brass band countries. On Saturday afternoon the Championship section bands will play their own choice pieces. This will be followed by a very special Norwegian grand Gala-Concert. All this events will make the European Brass Band Championships much more of a European Brass Band Festival

Norway will also put a special focus on the B-section Bands. It is important for us to welcome the B-Countries to a great Championship in the Grieg Hall. Concerts and happenings will also be organised for the bands wanting this.

For Bandswomen, Bandsman, conductors who are travelling to a foreign country and of course also for the audiences this are very exciting news. It gives us the possibility of a European Brass Band Festival week which includes the EYBB, the ECC, different Concerts, Conferences, music happenings and social activities, with the culmination of the European Brass Band Championships where you can listen to the best Brass Bands from Europe.

If you order your flight and hotel through the organisers of the EBBC in Bergen they offer you a special package with reasonable hotel and flight rates. Contact: Norwegian Band Federation, tel +47 55 30 70 76 or + 47 55 30 70 60, E-mail: or
See also www.musikkorps.no

We hope that the Brass Bands of Europe will see and appreciate the big positive effect this change has for the European Brass Band Championships and also for the whole European Brass Band scene.

EBBC 2003
Proposed Schedule of Events

European Youth Brass Band 2003:�����
Saturday 26th of April to Sunday 4th May 2003

2nd European Conductors Competition:
Sunday 27th of April to Thursday1th of May 2003
at Hakon Hall, Bergen, Norway

European Brass Band Championships:
Friday 2nd of May and Saturday 3rd of May 2003
Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway

European Grand Gala-Concert:�����
Saturday 3rd May 2003
Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway

The European Festival in Bergen with different Concerts,
Contests, Conferences, and musical and social happenings: �����
from Sunday 27th April to Sunday 4th May.2003

Sat 26.4.2003
Start and Assembly of European Youth Brass Band (EYBB)

Sun 27.4.2003
European Conductors Competition (ECC), 12 candidates 1st round
Each candidate has 25 Min. for rehearsing the band

Mon 28.4.2003�����
European Conductors Competition (12 candidates) 1st round��������������� Each candidate has 25 Min. for rehearsing the band

Tue 29.4.2003�����
European Conductors Competition (8 candidates) 2nd round
Each candidate has 25 min. rehearsal + performance

Wed 30.4.2003
Rehearsal for the Final European Conductors Competition

Thu 1.5.2003�����
10.00:�����Musical outdoor events in the Center of Bergen
20.00: Final European Conductors Competition at Peer Gynt Hall Bergen
21.45: Gala concert and award ceremony European Conductors Competition
with European Youth Brass Band (EYBB)

Fri 2.5.2003�����
10.00:�����Musical outdoor events in the Center of Bergen
10.30:�����Press Conference at Grieghallen, Bergen with concert of the EYBB
11.30:�����Official Reception at Grieghallen, Bergen with concert of the EYBB
16.00:�����Jury meeting at Grieghallen
18.00-21.30:�����26th EBBC at Grieghallen Bergen Championship section (test piece)

Sat 3.5.2003 �����
10.00-12.30:�����26th EBBC Grieghallen Bergen B-section (free program of 25 min.)
13.00-18.0�����Championship section (own choice piece)
13.00-19.0�����20.00�����EBBC Gala Concert with Yorkshire Building Society Band, defending European Champion 2002, Stavanger Brass Band from Norway and guest soloists. Award Ceremony.

22.00:�����European Brass Night and Dance Party at the Grieg Hall

Sun 4.5.2003�����
10.00:�����General Meeting European Brass Band Association
11.00: Farewell events, concerts and sightseeing in Bergen

If you would like to speak to the European Brass Band Association about any of the issues in this press release, please contact Mrs Nelly Unternaehrer, EBBA Secretary, Pfistergasse 21, CH 6003 Luzern, Switzerland. Tel: 0041 41 240 79 60 Fax: 0041 41 242 18 38 E-mail: or to Markus S. Bach, EBBA president, E-mail:

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David Hirst

MA, B.Ed (Hons), LTCL
Conductor, adjudicator and arranger