Test Piece: THE WORLD REJOICING – Edward Gregson
HAMMONDS BAND (UK)
Hammonds Band has an impressive pedigree, with an unbroken sequence of 73 years under various names, and roots going back 150 years to when, in 1855, a brass band was formed as one of the amenities for the people of Saltaire. This was one of the famous ‘model villages’ built during the first half of the 19th century by wealthy industrialists and was the brainchild of Sir Titus Salt, a philanthropic mill-owner and one-time Mayor of Bradford.
In recent years the band has contested throughout Europe, recorded numerous CDs and performed at some of the best concert venues in the world as the Yorkshire Building Society Band. Prior to that the band (as Hammonds Sauce Works) enjoyed contest and concert success under the baton of Geoffrey Whitham for nearly 30 years.
Hammonds Band have enjoyed great success on the contest platform. As the Yorkshire Building Society band we were European Champions 8 times in 9 years (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004) and have won the British Open and All England Masters on several occasions. Being a Yorkshire band they were proud to be crowned Yorkshire Champions in 1994, 1999 & 2004. In March 2011 we were delighted to yet again be crowned Champions of Yorkshire for the fourth time in their history and the first time with their then name, Hammonds Saltaire. Under the guidance of our musical director Morgan Griffiths the band are looking forward to a successful future which builds upon the rich heritage of their past. This has recently seen us form a partnership with the multi-instrumentalist Shri Sriram to fuse brass band and traditional Indian music together. As a direct result of this partnership the band has had the chance to perform at the 2015 London Jazz Festival and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival as an integral part of Shri’s piece, entitled ‘Just a Vibration’. As a result of recording this work with Shri we have also featured on Cerys Matthews’ BBC Radio 6 music show, as well as on the BBC Asian Network. British Airways have also included the CD in their in-flight entertainment system for six months as well as including an article (written by Cerys Matthews) about the project in their in-flight magazine. On the contest stage 2014 saw the band return to the British Open Championships, gaining a highly credible sixth place. This success has proven to be a building block for the band as 2016 saw us achieve one of our long-term contesting goals of a top six finish in the Yorkshire Area contest.
This success has continued in recent years. After two years in lockdown, like all of the bands in the country, Hammonds Band went to the Yorkshire Area after a period of rebuilding the band. After a two year break from contesting and performing we were delighted to come second at the contest, securing a place for us to represent Yorkshire at the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain, taking place at the Royal Albert Hall. The band is also looking forward to returning to the recording studio this year to record a number of our most popular concert tracks.
Test Piece: TALLIS VARIATIONS – Philip Sparke
Tet piece: LIONS OF LEGEND – Thierry Deleruyelle
BRASS BAND OCCITANIA
The Occitania Brass Band is a large orchestra created in 2011 by friends passionate about brass music. It brings together about thirty members, composed of professional musicians, students of the National Conservatory of Music of Toulouse, music teachers from the Midi-Pyrénées region and amateur musicians from the surroundings of Toulouse.
The BBO has presented its program at various festivals around brass music and ^ aims to bring together musicians passionate about music and eager to share their passion during public performances, thus offering a very eclectic musical journey.
It has a wide repertoire of concert music, classical works, original compositions, traditional pieces for Brass Band, film music and variety standards. The BBO has welcomed renowned soloists such as Sylvain Picard, Christophe Sanchez, Jean-Sébastien Borsarello, Hélène Escriva and Stéphane Labeyrie.
The BBO is directed by Lucas MAZERES, professor of percussion at the Tarn department Conservatory of Music and Danse CRD and is chaired by Laurent Jammes, professional trumpeter at the band of the Parachutist of the army, principal cornet of the formation.
He participated in the France Bras Band championship in Lyon in 2013 and 2017.
In 2019, the orchestra recorded its first album named « OCEANS » available on our website.
BRASS BAND DES PAYS DE LOIRE (F)
The Brass Band des Pays de la Loire (BBPL) is a brass and percussion ensemble bringing amateur and professional musicians from the Pays de la Loire region.
Created in 1996 at the initiative of Jean-Claude Baulin and Eric Grelier, this ensemble aims to discover the particular timbre of this formation, and to highlight its repertoire.
Composed mainly of « soft » brass (with conical pierce), this orchestra offers a wide range of colors and shades. Its particular U-shaped arrangement also contributes to the astonishing homogeneity of the whole.
The BBPL offers a varied and festive repertoire ranging from original pieces for Brass Band to arrangements of contemporary music, pieces for soloists, jazz standards or film music. Since 2018, the orchestra has been in residence at the cultural center of Montjean-sur-Loire, delegated municipality of Mauges sur Loire (Maine et Loire). The BBPL aims to bring together musicians wishing to share their passion, during public performances by offering an eclectic musical moment. Original pieces for Brass Band, transcriptions of classical works, film music, jazz standards , pieces for soloists etc… All these proposed elements regularly bring a communicative dynamic to all audiences. It proposes to meet amateur and school musicians by organizing awareness-raising and initiation actions. They come in many forms.
Masterclass, Internship supervision – Orchestra sponsorship at school (OAE) – Public rehearsals – Educational concerts – Partnership with artistic educational institutions . Through these various meetings, the musicians of the BBPL wish to share their passion for music, and transmit values such as requirement, investment, rigor, but also and above all, the notion of pleasure, conviviality, and sharing.
In order to meet ever more ambitious challenges, the BBPL has been participating in competitions for several years. This is an opportunity to give the musicians an additional objective, and to benefit from the opinion of specialists who make up the jury. It is also and above all an opportunity to meet other Brass Bands and share with them strong emotions.
BRASS BAND DE LA VIENNE (F)
The « brass band » was born in industrial England of the nineteenth century. Composed of about thirty musicians, this ensemble consists exclusively of brass instruments (cornets, flugelhorns, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, trombones, tubas enriched with percussion.
Created in 2015 by Mathias Currit and Christophe Bourderioux, the Brass Band de la Vienne allowed the meeting of confirmed and professional amateur musicians to realize this great ensemble of brass and percussion.
The Brass Band de la Vienne explores the repertoire dedicated to this original formation, with the aim of introducing the public to warm music full of power and finesse. In May 2018, Mathias Charton took over the artistic direction of the ensemble.
Today, in France, the number of brass bands is constantly evolving, proving the interest of musicians and the public for this type of formation and its repertoire. From this dynamic were born many brass band competitions: the France Open in Amboise since 1995, a national brass band championship organized by the Confédération Musicale de France since 2004, and a European championship existing since 1978.
In February 2020, the Vienna Brass Band participated in the national brass band championship and obtained a first prize and a fourth place in the third division. In June 2022, the ensemble participates in the Open de France de Brass Band d’Amboise, obtains a 1st prize and wins the competition in the third division.
Test piece: ENTERTAINMENTS – Gilbert Vinter
A TOURS DE BRASS
In Touraine, if in the 2000s Philippe GERVAIS, then head of the Normandy Brass Band, came to animate an annual workshop with young musicians, the regular practice of the Brass Band dates back nearly ten years when Exobrass was created in 2006. The professional musicians of the region have found themselves in an ambitious ensemble that brings together the great students of the local conservatories and their teachers. The latter then created one of the first French institutional junior Brass Band at the CRR of Tours with the « Brass Band Junior Du CRR de Tours » in 2009, an ensemble whose practice validates the collective practice of CRR students. Basically, this junior Brass Band called « Junior Exobrass » was an ephemeral ensemble created each year during a music workshop that took place under the direction of great French Brass Band specialists, Mathias CHARTON (Brassage) and Jérome GENZA (BBVL). In 2009 was created the « Brass Band Bourgueillois » (directed by Mickael AUCLERT) which organizes each year the BBB festival bringing together the greatest French ensembles.
Three Brass Band in Touraine, and yet on Tours a class of difference exists between the Junior Brass Band of the CRR and Exobrass. If Exobrass has always opened its ranks to amateur musicians, their rehearsal schedule is restricted to Monday mornings, a schedule difficult to respect for many musicians too tall and / or outside the CRR circuit to practice with the Junior Brass Band. It is therefore this observation that Stéphane BALZEAU, professor of tuba at the CRR of Tours and tuba player SiB at Exobrass has established: there is in Touraine a pool of musicians who do not have or no longer have access to the practice of the Brass Band. Since November 2016, he has created and directs the Brass Band « A Tours De Brass » which brings together students from the CRR and schools of the department in addition to amateur musicians.
Around a program that he describes as « general public » (Robin Hood, Bach’s Toccata, Adios Nonino among others), it is without « any pretension » that he animates rehearsals once a week (Thursday) in the town of Chambray-les-Tours from 19:45 to 20:45. With already many outings to its credit alongside the Bourgueillois Brass Band and then at the Open de France d’Amboise, the Brass Band will continue this year by seeking to complete its ranks on baritone, viola and cornets.
Fourth / Youth section
Test piece: NEVERLAND – Christopher Bond
YOUTH BRASS BAND OF TOURS CONSERVATORY (F)
The junior Brass Band of the C.R.R. was born in 2009. It emanates from the impetus given to the Brass band movement in the Region Tourangelle for a number of years: the French Open of Amboise, the support provided by the 37 UDEM for the Organization of training courses and the existence of EXObrass, Brass band born in the initiative of teachers of the CRR of Tours and the Department.
Made up of students in second cycle and third cycle, it is headed by David HUBERT. This set which has 1.5 hours each week for work, is part of the collective practices of C.R.R. of TOURS.
BRASS BAND EN SEINE (F)
The “Brass Band En Seine” was incorporated as an Association under the law of 1901 in October 2001. Founded by Pascal Piedefer, the BBS is now directed by Christopher DUFAY, professor of trumpet at the Departmental Conservatory of Petit et Grand Couronne.
The BBS is affiliated to the Confédération Musicale de France and performs in Seine Maritime and neighbouring departments. Approved by the national education, it offers school activities to promote the practice of brass in colleges via the department of Seine Maritime, but also to the youngest thanks to the city of Rouen.
In addition to educational actions with schoolchildren, the BBS occurs through concerts, festivals or major events such as the Armada. In October 2022, he organizes his first Brass Band academy in Rouen where many young and old musicians from all over the Seine Maritime department have come together in a collective project.
It is composed only of amateur and passionate musicians who rehearse every week at the Rouen music school. Multigenerational it brings together musicians from different backgrounds. Pleasure and sharing are the values at the heart of the project of this musical formation.