Competitors 2020

Championships
Test piece: DYNASTY (Peter Graham)

MANGER BAND (NO)

Conductor: Alan Withington

Manger Musikklag was founded in 1922, and is considered one of the leading Norwegian Brass Bands, having won 8 national titles, the World Music Competition in Kerkrade 2013 and the European title of 2011.  The group focuses on contemporary music and has commissioned several new pieces from Norwegian and international composers. Since 2004, they have organized their own festival, BrassWind, an annual event with Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen as artistic director. Manger Musikklag is a versatile band that performs and competes both domestically and internationally, and has also recorded and contributed to several CDs. They are also proud to be national ambassadors for the mot youth organization, which works to develop confident and positive young people in local communities.

Æolus Band (F)

Conductor: Benoit Fourreau

The Brass Band Æolus is above all a great human story, professional musicians who decide to share their passion in an amateur formation with a breathtaking repertoire, for more than fifteen years. An impressive journey: more than 200 concerts in France and abroad, winner of national and international competitions, three recordings, sound and visual participation in television and cinema, thousands of children aware of this training during numerous school presentations. The brass band Æolus is involved in a cultural and educational awareness approach accessible to as many people as possible. The primary motivation: to practice, share and energize the brass with this unique orchestral formation: The Brass band. While the first brass band in France appeared almost 30 years ago, the development of this band remained confidential. The artistic quality of Æolus, quickly recognized at the level of competitions, but also the choice of a more « symphonic » mode of play, unlike the Anglo-Saxon model, has attracted the support of a wider audience, but also of many professionals, hitherto reluctant to traditional aesthetics. Without denying the richness of the 150 years of tradition across the Channel, Æolus brass band claims its right to difference: difference by its play, its program, by the transversality of its encounters. For it is by going towards a different repertoire, open to all influences, (contemporary music, variety, classical), open-ended, that we will be able to get out of an agreed circle, touching and convincing a wider audience, a conquered audience by the brass band otherwise!

1st Section
Test piece: The Land of the white cloud (Philip Sparke)

AMERSFOORT BAND (NL)

Conductor: Vincent Verhage

Brassband Amersfoort hails from a beautiful old city in the centre of the Netherlands. 

In recent years, Brassband Amersfoort has become a well-known ensemble in the dutch brass band scene. The band participates at the national championships each year which helps to grow and mature as a band. Brassband Amersfoort participated in the French Open in 2012, 2014 and 2016 in the 2nd section. Brassband Amersfoort promoted to the first section in 2018, and is delighted to return to Amboise again this year and compete in this section. 

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Apart from the national championships, and other competitions such as the Dutch Open Brassband Championships (winner first section 2019), we focus on entertainment in the spring- and summertime, and started a new tradition in organising a beautiful Christmas concert show in winter. 

The band has been formed in 1975 and has since then aimed to combine high level of brass band playing with good fellowship. The French Open Brassband Championship is the last big event before our summer break and all band members cannot wait to come and enjoy the great atmosphere in beautiful Amboise. The band is under the direction of the young and inspiring musical director Vincent Verhage.

2nd Section
Test piece: Ex Terra Lucern (Jonathan Bates)

3rd Section
Test piece: Napoleon on the Alps (Philip Harper)

CADENCES BRASS (F)

Concuctor: Nicolas Biget

The Cadences Brass was born in Blois in 2019 at the joint initiative of the tubist Nicolas Biget and Mickael Boisset, coordinator of the Cadences Network (music schools of Blois Agglopolys). Nicolas Biget is a professor of euphonium and tuba art at the CRD in Blois. He began playing the trumpet in Jean-Paul Leroy’s class as he staged the very first French Brass Band in Orleans; he did « his classes » at the cone desk and then continued to the bass and double bass saxhorns in the Brass Band Val de Loire for 25 years. Very attached to the unifying role of his mission on the agglomeration, he seeks to bring together in a common project the living forces of the brass and percussion musicians of the territory. The Brass band is in every way responding to this mission of developing local music action, bringing together teachers from the network, graduate students from the conservatory and amateur or professional musicians from the department. Very respectful of the British tradition, all the musicians of The Brass Cadences volunteer to participate in this magnificent musical adventure. The artistic project and the pedagogical will of this ensemble feed on the richness of the Brass band repertoire, mixing original works and transcriptions, classical and traditional pieces. The Cadences Brass has performed at music school auditions, in concerts in partnership with the department’s great harmonies, in both large and large venues in the region and this year had the pleasure and honour of accompanying the renowned soloist Anthony Galinier

ATOURSDEBRASS BAND (F)

Direc tion: Stéphane Balzeau

It was under the leadership of Stéphane Balzeau, Professor of Tuba at the CRR de Tours, that a fourth brass band was born in Indre-et-Loire in November 2016, allowing non-professional musicians, students at the conservatory, the faculty of music of Tours, or in music schools to practice the « Brass Band ». At first it was an essay that thanks to the motivation of the musicians and the volunteer is born « AToursdeBrass ». Since last year, every desk is complete, and we will participate in our first contest! AToursdeBrass has performed various concerts with harmony orchestras, Brass bands, to discover or rediscover the Brass band, share this varied repertoire, promote brass and percussion and their good humor!

REGENT COMMUNITY BRASS (UK)

Conductor: Chris Bearman

Regent Community Brass was formed in 2012 as an expansion to the Regent Brass banding family. The band has been under the direction of Chris Bearman since 2014.We are an enthusiastic and welcoming group who enjoy playing a varied and entertaining repertoire accessible to both player and listener alike. Our schedule has a focus on community events; we are to be found regularly on Queen’s Park bandstand over the summer months and giving concerts in local churches throughout the year.On top of this, we also compete actively on the brass band contesting scene at home and abroad. We have recently been promoted to the 3rd section of the National Brass Band Championships following 2 appearances at the National finals in 2017/18. The band recently came 3rd place in the 3rd section at the Wychavon entertainments contest in November 2019.

4th Section
Test piece: Saint-Saens Variations (Philip Sparke)

LONDON CITY BRASS (UK)

Conductor: Andrew Brittin

London City Brass is an enthusiastic brass band rehearsing and performing across the capital. The band is made up of amateur players from a variety of backgrounds ranging from bankers to healthcare workers who come together once a week to have fun and improve the standard of our playing. We are a diverse bunch, with ages ranging from 20 up to retired, but our common aim is to promote brass band music locally and get out and perform to the public as often as we are able. Last year saw us play on the bandstands at Victoria Park, Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park, as well as perform concerts to raise money for charities. London City Brass are based at St. Margaret Pattens, a historic church right at the heart of the City, and our Musical Director is Andrew Brittin. We enter the contest for the third time this year but under a new name, having competed as North London Brass in 2018 and 2019. `

ROMORANTIN/LANTHENAY BRASS BAND (F)

Conductor: Eric Beaumont

Under the leadership of its president, its director and a few passionate musicians, the Romorantin Music Union is adding a new phalanx to its association, creating a Brass Band in January 2017. This new group is made up of 90% of the musicians of the musical union and students of the Municipal Conservatory of Music of Romorantin, all amateur musicians and eager to promote and popularize the brass repertoire. The Brass Band performs regularly in the first part of the concerts of the harmony orchestra of the musical union but also on the occasion of invitations from other musical associations of the department as well as during solicitations of institutions (Media Library, Municipal Conservatory of Music, etc.). Thanks to all these musical productions, the Brass Band hopes to convey its enthusiasm and give other musicians from neighbor territories the desire to join its ranks.  Participation in a confrontation such as the Brass Band French Open in Amboise is, for our team, a new step forward in the extraordinary world of the Brass Band. The aim of this ensemble is to revitalize the musical offer in our territories through programs as varied as unexpected and in which pleasure and sharing are the priorities