Brassband Willebroek has won convincingly at the prestigious British Open Brass Band Championship. This competition, which has been bringing together the very best bands from the cradle of the brass band movement every year since 1853, is widely regarded as the highest level competition in the genre. With a field of 19 mainly British top bands, the average level is actually stronger than, for example, the European brass band championship or the WMC.
In the mighty, enchanting and acoustically sublime Symphony Hall in Birmingham (UK), BBW has given the British audience and jury a great deal of attention after a very tasted, impressive rendition of the set test piece “The Triumph of Time” by composer Peter Graham. Rumors abounded throughout the day that BBW could be the first non-British band to win the British Open. The brilliant performance of BBW resulted in a nice 4th place. With this, BBW settled itself in the prizes (1st to 6th) on a field of 19 top orchestras.
The participation of a Belgian band in this competition is quite exceptional. Based on their European status as the highest ranked continental band at the European Brass Band Championship in Freiburg (where BBW took European Silver), BBW became the first Belgian band ever to receive the coveted invitation to participate in the British Open Brass Band Championship 2016.
More than 2000 enthusiastic, neutral music lovers burst into overwhelming applause, even during the final chord of the Willebroek prize band.
The orchestra, led by its driving force, Frans Violet once again gave the audience goosebumps with wonderful, musical interpretations and virtuoso solo performances. Striking were the outspoken heartfelt congratulations that the conductor and musicians received afterwards in and around the Symphony Hall.
10 September 2016
Set test piece: 'The Triumph of Time' (Peter Graham)
Adjudicators: Dr Michael Ball, Rob Wiffin, Allan Withington
1. Cory (Philip Harper)
2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)
3. Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas J. Childs)
4. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
5. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
6. Desford Colliery (Leicestershire Miners Trust Fund) (Michael Fowles)
7. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
8. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
9. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
10. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
11. Flowers (Paul Holland)
12. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
13. Woodfalls (Howard Evans)*
14. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jannsen)
15. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
16. Wellington Brass (David Bremner)
17. Foden's (Bramwell Tovey)
18. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)*
19. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy: Helen Williams (flugel) — Cory
Brian Evans Memorial Trophy: Steve Stewart — Cory