On Saturday 23 October, a wonderful first edition of the Willebroek Solo Contest took place, with no fewer than 67 participants from 6 different countries in Europe competing in two halls. This could be followed both physically and online via a live stream, the incredibly high level ensured that more than 5,600 enthusiasts followed this brass spectacle.
The prize pool appealed to the imagination: 5.000 euros were divided over 4 categories and 13 prize winners. Jury members Bastien Baumet (FR), Kristien Schuurmans (BE), Arthur Vanderhoeft (BE) and Luc Vertommen (BE) experienced this first edition as a new milestone for soloist competitions in Belgium and Europe:
“As a brass player you know where in Belgium you must be (Willebroek). As of today, young and less young soloists also know that this is possible to gain stage experience in a perfectly organized competition. We were very impressed with the youngest categories, every point given is for a top performance, the award winners were extraordinary. Certainly the winner of the category '13 to 15 years old’, who presents with a maturity that only professional musicians exhibit." According to Luc Vertommen.
The top prize went to Thomas Dubois, who performed the first movement of Martin Ellerby's Euphonium Concerto. CU Brass spoke of a performance that went into the smallest details with huge dynamic differences. Thomas received the first prize of 1.000 euros donated by Lemca Musical Instruments, a voucher of 600 euros from Buffet Crampon, The Frans Violet Trophy and an invitation to perform as a soloist with Brass Band Willebroek.
The Brass Band Willebroek team and organizer Lode Violet are extremely satisfied with the first edition and are extremely grateful to the many partners:
“Without the help of our piano accompanists, the support of the BBW team and our many sponsors, it would not be possible to realize such projects. Many thanks go to our main sponsors Lemca Musical Instruments, Yuja, the Municipality of Willebroek & Buffet Crampon.”
Up to and including 12 years old:
1. Jisse Kuipers
2. Sebastiaan Aerts
3. Leonore Dobbelaere
13 to 15 years old:
1. Warre Dendievel
2. Jan Van de Watering
3. Amaury Dehaene
16 to 18 years old:
1. Niels Lukkesen
2. Yoran Ambroes
3. Simon Binon
From 19 years old:
1. Thomas Dubois
2. Rousseau Sébastien
3. Klemens Vetter
Audience Prize: Frank Vermeylen