On August 8, the first edition of the “Brass Band Willebroek Academy” finally started in the arts campus around the Municipal Academy of Music, Drama and Dance in Lier (a small but beautiful town near Antwerp). An enthusiastic team of organizers, teachers and animators welcomed no fewer than 51 participants who were eager to get started.
It was clear from the start that the “BBWA” had to be there for everyone. The participants were between 8 and 63 years old and were placed in 2 different orchestras, the “Willebroek Academy Band” and the “Willebroek Academy Juniors”. In this way, everyone received the guidance he or she needed. In addition to rehearsals, there was also time for individual lessons, group lessons with Brass Band Willebroek solo players and recreation.
A concert by the sea
The exceptional talent and great ambition of the participants soon became apparent. After only a day and a half of rehearsal, there was a first concert. A full program was played in Sint-Idesbald (Belgian coast) where both the WAB and the WAJ gave the best of themselves. For some musicians, this was their first concert experience, partly due to the Corona pandemic. The public saw and heard that it was good!
After this concert, the WAB started preparing Sparke’s Tallis Variations. The ambitious choice for this piece of conductor Frans Violet was more than appreciated by the participants. They visibly enjoyed the wizard at work in his most natural habitat. The WAJ also took a lot of work, successfully and under the leadership of Toon Rutten.
A spectacular closing concert followed on Friday 13 August. Here the WAJ, the WAB and the percussion ensemble (conducted by Kelly Helsen) played for a sold-out hall!
Also in 2022 a “Brass Band Willebroek Academy” will continue. This from 31/7/22 to 5/8/22 at the same location.