Be sure to leave open the 26th of October because reigning Belgian champion Brass Band WIllebroek would like to invite you to its annual soloist concert!
After a successful participation in the European Brass Band Championships in Perth, Scotland, and a well-deserved summer vacation, the members of Brass Band Willebroek started their preparations for the next Belgian Brass Band Championships, where they will do everything they can to defend their Belgian title. The soloist concert will be their first test and will be the standard for the next championship, which will be held, for the first time ever, at the 'CC Zwaneberg' in Heist-op-den-Berg. Both the set test piece and the own choice piece of Brass Band Willebroek will be performed at the concert.
The program for the concert will also include the piece "Electra". This piece will be the set test piece in the championship section for the Belgian Brass Band Championship in November. "Electra" was written by English composer Martin Ellerby, who also composed the set test piece for the 2007 European Championships, "Elgar Variations". It was with this piece that Brass Band Willebroek won the European Championships in Birmingham and it later became the title song of their new CD. Martin Ellerby is not just any composer, he has more than earned his place in the brass band world. Other works of his hand include "Tristan Encounters", "Malcolm Arnold Variations" and "Chivalry".
"Electra" was written in 2012 for the 160th edition of the British Open Brass Band Championships, by far the most legendary and prestigious brass band contest in England. Oddly enough, that same piece was used as the set test piece for the Dutch Brass Band Championships that same year. The organization of both championships gave the instructions for this new composition.
The piece is a symphonic miniature ballet for brass band, based on a Greek tragedy of Sophocles from the fifth century and the opera by the same name from 1907 by Richard Strauss. It was dedicated to Stan and Shirley Kitchen, both members of Studio Music and close friends of the composer.
Brass Band Willebroek is also very proud to present its central guest of the evening. This year, the band has once again been able to get an amazingly talented player to perform as a guest soloist. No one other than Gary Curtin will be giving it his all and will make you enjoy his musical talent and unbelievable virtuosity. Gary is the principal euphonium of the legendary and famous Black Dyke Band. Two years ago, we were able to get Richard Marshall (principal cornet) to be a guest soloist at our annual soloist concert, now we are very excited to welcome yet another star player of the world's most famous brass band.
Gary Curtin was born in Cork City, Ireland. He began playing the baritone at the age of 12 and moved onto the euphonium in 1996. Gary was the first euphonium player to study at degree level at the Cork School of Music, and he went on to study at masters level also. During his time at the Cork School of Music he was also awarded the Yamaha Solo Prize. In 2005 he moved to Manchester where he studied at the RNCM under the tutelage of Steven Mead. Gary began to immerse himself in the brass band scene and has played solo euphonium with Wingates Band and the Fairey (Geneva) Band before moving to the Principal Euphonium seat at Black Dyke Band in 2010. He received the Geoff Whitham Memorial Award for 'Best Euphonium' at the 2010 British Open Championships at the Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Gary Curtin will perform four pieces, including the brilliant 'Vallflickans Dans' (from Bergakungen) and the extremely difficult 'Carnaval of Venus'.
During the soloist concert, you will be able to enjoy two brand new pieces written by musicians from the band itself. "Salute" was composed by Eb bass player Stijn Aertgeerts and is dedicated to Nico Meylemans and the 'Koninklijke Fanfare Moed en Volharding' from Heist-op-den-Berg. Stijn arranged this beautiful chorale for brass band especially for this concert in Heist-op-den-Berg. You will also be spoilt with a second première, written by principal cornet player Lode Violet. After his first arrangement "Die Post", which was executed by Brass Band Willebroek as the exam piece of Lode and Jonas Violet, Lode decided to compose his own piece. The extremely successful result of this will be performed at the soloist concert. The entire evening will be presented by Jolijn Antonissen, who you might know from our concert with Young Brass Band Willebroek in 2013.
Conductor Frans Violet and Brass Band Willebroek would like to invite you to their soloist concert on the 26th of October 2014. Guest soloist will be euphonium player Gary Curtin (Black Dyke Band). The concert will be held at the 'CC Zwaneberg' (Cultuurplein 1, 2220 Heist-op-den-Berg) and starts at 19:30 pm. Tickets are available here and with our musicians.
See you there!
Translated by: Kim D.H.