BERLIN BOUND - Isobel Daws secures place at Karajan Academy

Issue 6125

SCOTTISH FUNDING - SBBA receives Creative Scotland award

CONTEST CANCELLED - West of England Regionals off

CURTAIN RISING - RNCM Festival set for take-off

PUSHED BACK - Australian Nationals postponed

Danish National a delight

Tuesday 30 November, 2021

The plethora of national brass band championships towards the end of the year continued recently, with Denmark hosting its prestigious event on November 19 and 20.

Martin Gernon reports from Aarhus on a contest which is fast earning a reputation as one of the best events in the brass band calendar.


For those of you who remember TV advertisements with nostalgia, you will recall the Carlsberg adverts that had the strapline “if Carlsberg made” or “if Carlsberg did”, implying that the lager brand was the pinnacle, the best there was in its particular field. Well, if Carlsberg did band contests, it would be the Danish National Championships.

Held in the Musikhaset Concerthaus in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, it boasts one of the best concert halls in Europe. Acoustically perfect, with a stage roof that can be manipulated up, down and sideways to cope with different acoustic ensembles, a large and forgiving stage and audience facilities and seats second to none, this is a great arena in which to play and listen.

Two days earlier, the Berlin Philharmonic packed the place. If it’s good enough for the best orchestra in the world, it’s certainly good enough to hear the best Danish bands in full flight.

The contest format is similar to the European Championship, with set test and own choice works, and this year the music committee kept the same set work selections as the cancelled event in 2020.

Composer Jonathan Bates bagged a full house of test pieces for each division’s set work. It was a bold decision but the selections were widely applauded by bands and audience alike. The music was approachable, engaging and without exception, gave a stern test to every band.

To access the full article, subscribe to British Bandsman today!

Issue 6118 digital November 25, 2021