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The European Brass Band Association (EBBA) and The Scottish Brass Band Association are delighted to announce the line-up for the Challenge Section of the 2014 European Brass Band Championships, taking place from 9.00am on Saturday 3rd May at Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland.
This year sees the newly re-branded event welcome 4 bands to the stage to perform an own choice programme, including the premiere of the commissioned work ‘The Pilgrim', composed by Josiah Walters especially for the event.
The bands include:
The 1st Old Boys Band (Stephen Cairns) - Northern Ireland
Drogheda Brass Band (Michael Maher) - Republic of Ireland
Brass Band Wipptal - (Martin Gruber) - Italy
Tullis Russell Band - (Paul Drury) - Scotland
EBBA President, Ulf Rosenberg commented: "It is fantastic to see the Challenge Section return this year to the European Brass Band Championship series of events, and we are sure that the appealing concept of the own choice programmes, including the specially commissioned work, ‘The Pilgrim', will create a special event for the bands involved and the attending audiences."
Ulf continued to discuss the thinking behind the new branding of the event: "The contest has been re-named this year, changing it from the previous title of ‘B-Section' to ‘Challenge Section'. The former B-section element of the European Brass Band Championships was introduced in 1994. The format and future operation of the B-section has been discussed by the EBBA Executive Committee and Music Commission during 2013, and a survey undertaken with B-section bands in the EBBA member countries.
There is a very strong support to have the section continue but to slightly modify it. The organisation believes the event should challenge those countries that don't have a well developed brass band movement or are unable to have bands qualify through a national contest. We therefore want to enable the bands from these countries to have the opportunity of experiencing a well organised competitive environment, and to enjoy the benefits of
preparing for and participating in such an event, providing them with a goal to help improve their musical abilities."
This year EBBA has also decided to invite the host organisation, The Scottish Brass Band Association, to nominate a band to the Challenge Section, resulting in the Tullis Russell Mills Band, conducted by Paul Drury (and current 2nd Section Champions of the Scottish Brass Band Championships), to represent Scotland.
The aim and purpose of the future European Brass Band Challenge Competition shall be:
"Through the provision of an international competitive environment for brass bands from Europe that are not yet able to participate in the European Brass Band Championship competition:
• Promote the values of the brass band movement across Europe.
• Develop the standards of competition performance of participating brass bands.
• Improve the repertoire of brass band music.
• Inspire non-EBBA member countries who wish to establish national championships, preferably within a national band organisational structure.
For more information on the future system for the Challenge Section, see ebba.eu.com