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7th European Composers Competition, 2019

The Music Commission of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) is pleased to announce the three new works for brass band that will receive their premiere
performances in the final of 7th European Composers Competition, to be held in the Salle de Concert, Casino Barrière, Montreux, Switzerland, Thursday 25 April 2019.

The three finalists in alphabetical order of composer are:
– Bipolarity by Stijn Aertgeerts (Belgium)
– A Dialogue of Transmogrified Souls by Daniel Hall (England)
– Ironbright by Paul Saggers (England)

EBBA Music Commission Chairman, Paul Hindmarsh comments: “It was an exceptional year. All ten compositions, which we judged anonymously, had much to commend them for their imagination, craft and handling of the brass band medium.
My colleagues on the judging panel, Oliver Waespi and Lucy Pankhurst, were impressed by the personal ‘voices’ that shone through the entries. We are looking forward to an excellent final, when Stijn, Daniel and Paul will hear their works for the first time.”

The EBBA Music Commission wishes to congratulate the other composers who entered the competition. They are Aurelien Darbellay (The Wicked Reflection),Cedric Fuhrer (Beyond All Summits), Louis Kroni (Miracle on the Hudson) and Théo Schmitt (Particles Dance) from Switzerland; Linas Rupslaukis (Ditto) from Lithuania, Pierre-Antoine Savoyat (…Our Shame…) from France and Mathias Wehr (The Complete Champions) from Germany.

Stijn Aertgeerts (b. 1992) is a member of the tuba section of Brass Band Willebroek. His first instrument was the cornet,and in that capacity Stijn was a member of the European Youth Brass Band of 2006 and 2007 in
Belfast and Birmingham respectively. He continued his studies at the Music Academy of Antwerp where his teacher was Arthur Vanderhoeft, and in 2007 accepted Frans Violet’s invitation join Young Brass Band Willebroek. Less than a year later, in consultation with his cornet teacher Arthur Vanderhoeft, he switched to E-flat bass and within a few months joined Brass Band Willebroek. In 2010 Stijn continued his studies with Frans Violet at Antwerp Conservatoire. Stijn’s compositions have been performed by leading bands and soloists across Europe, including Eikanger-Bjorsvik. Since April 2016 he has been the conductor of Brassband Burgipja.

Daniel Hall is a 22 year-old composer, cornettist and conductor from Cornwall currently in his final year of undergraduate study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. In January 2016 Daniel won the third John Golland Award at the Royal Northern
College of Music Brass Band Festival. As his prize, the John Golland Trust commissioned a new brass band work and Sanctuary!, the set test in the Premier Section of the 2019 European Youth Brass Band Contest, is the
result. Daniel’s music has been performed in Lithuania, Switzerland, France and at major venues in the UK, including the Barbican Hall (London) and The Sage Gateshead (Brass in Concert). His work Smoke Sketches was commissioned by Brass Bands England as one of the set tests for the 2017 National Youth Championships of Great Britain.

Paul Saggers (b. 1985) was born in Cornwall.
He started playing the cornet at the age of 12, more recently playing for the Camborne Town Band and the Flowers Band. At the age of 25 he decided to pursue a career in the Royal Marines Band Service and is currently based in the Plymouth Band. His interest in composition started later in life after enrolling in the BMus degree programme through the Royal Marines.
His first work to be performed by a brass band, entitled The Great Storm Cat, was premiered by The Cornwall Youth Brass Band of which he was a member. His work The Roar of the Khamsin was shortlisted for the 2017 RWCMD composer competition and was premiered by the Cory Band. Paul has written
extensively for Wind Band and is working towards an MMus in Composition through the Royal Marines in partnership with Plymouth University. He is currently studying with Simon Dobson.

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Set pieces EYBBC Montreux announced.

The Music Commission of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) is pleased to announce the set test pieces for the sixth European Youth Brass Band Contest to be held in the Stravinsky Hall, Montreux, Switzerland, Sunday 28 April 2019.

Youth Contest (Premier) Sanctuary! by Daniel Hall (10 mins)

Youth Contest (Development) Argos by Stephan Hodel (8 mins)

Created to challenge experienced youth and community bands, Sanctuary! is inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel of 1931, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The title is a reference to the climax of the story when heroic Quasimodo rescues Esmerelda from death and carries her to the top of the bell tower whilst screaming “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!”.
The work in in three movements, dominated by the sound of bells. The first movement, Cour des Miracles, depicts the sounds of a colourful festival with the bells of Notre Dame ringing joyously. The second, Miséricorde, is an ardent song from the bell ringer, Quasimodo, to his adored Esmerelda, declaring his unbounded love. The final movement, ANANKH, refers to the message that Hugo intended for the book, fate and destiny. The suite concludes with a reprise of the love song, signifying hope and restoration.

The performing material of Sanctuary! is being produced specially for the contest by the composer and can be ordered exclusively by email from Paul Hindmarsh, Chair EBBA Music Commission,

Argos was commissioned by the Luzerner Kantonal-Blasmusikverbandes LKBV. Completed in the Autumn of 2009, it was the set test piece in the third section of the 2010 Lucerne Cantonal Music Festival, Willisau. Argos is one of the oldest cities in Greece, a powerful rival of Sparta, Athens, and Corinth. The word Argos can also be translated as ‘bright’ or ‘shining’, which is the meaning that Stephan Hodel has adopted for his bright, festive suite. Argos is in three parts, a fanfare-like opening, a song or chorale-like middle section, and a light-hearted final movement.

Check our website for the CV of both composers.



European Youth Brass Band Contest, 2019

The European Youth Brass Band Contest will provide a platform for Europe’s finest youth brass bands to perform a programme of musical excellence which is also entertaining in a competitive environment. In doing so this will encourage the development of youth brass bands throughout the member countries of the European Brass Band Association, fostering enduring social links between the young people taking part and will help to create a better understanding of the cultural diversity throughout Europe.

The EYBBC will take place on 28 April in Montreux, Switzerland, and will be part of the European Brass Band Championships 2019.

Bands which are interested to participate can show their interest by contacting EBBA’s General Secretary Kor Niehof via:

The deadline for all bands entering the contest will be the 31st December, 2018.

There will be no fee for entering the competition.

Download here the rules and regulations for the EYBBC 2019:


7th European Composers Competition 2019
in Montreux, Switzerland.

Composers are invited to apply for a place in the 7th European Composers Competition, to be held in Montreux, Switzerland in 2019 as part of the 42nd European Brass Band Championships.
Composers are invited to submit an original composition for brass band of maximum 12 minutes duration.
The competition will consist of one preliminary round and a final. The final will take place on the 26th April 2019 in the Stravinsky Hall, Montreux, where the new compositions will be performed by a leading Swiss brass band.

The prizes total EUR 2500 (1st), 2000 (2nd), 1500 (3rd) and 500 (audience prize) and 500 (band prize), including support for future commissions or further study. All competitors who reach the final will receive a diploma.

Applicants must have been born on or after January 1st, 1984. Closing date for entries is 1st January 2019. For further details, please contact Kor Niehof –

Rules and regulations and the link to the entry form can found at the EBBA-website



Test Piece composers for 42nd European Brass Band Championships in Montreux.

The European Brass Band Association [EBBA] is pleased to announce the composers who have been commissioned by the Swiss Brass Band Association to provide the set test pieces for the European Brass Band Championships to be held in Stravinsky Hall, Montreux, 26 and 27 April, 2019.

The Championship set test will be composed by Ludovic Neurohr (b. 1983). A prolific composer for brass and wind bands, Ludovic started playing the cornet with his local village brass band « La Marcelline » in the Valais canton. His cornet teacher was Géo-Pierre Moren and between 2001 and 2005, Ludovic was repiano cornet in Brassband Treize Etoiles. In 2008, following graduation from the Tibor Varga Music Academy in Sion, Ludovic’s gained an MA in composition from Salford University, where his teachers included Peter Graham and Robin Dewhurst. Ludovic’s work Whirl was awarded of second prize at European Composer Contest [ECC] in Ostend, 2009 and As a Glow gained him audience and band prizes at the 2015 ECC in Freiburg. Ludovic continues to work extensively with leading brass and wind bands, ensembles and soloists throughout Europe.

The Challenge Section set test is to be written by Mario Bürki (b. 1977). A graduate of the Berne Conservatory, Mario works as a conductor of wind bands, trumpet teacher and composer. His first major work, Scenes of Max and Moritz, was awarded second prize in a composition organized by the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Lucerne. Two of his works, Cap Hoorn und 1405 and Der Brand vion Bern, were premiered at the Mid-Europe Conference in Schladming and several of his wind and brass band commissions have been chosen as set test pieces.

EBBA and the Swiss Brass Band Association are also pleased to announce Véronique Gyger as the conductor of the 2019 European Youth Brass Band.
Véronique studied piano, music theory and cornet at the Conservatoire of Sion, continuing her studies in the UK with Phillip McCann and Peter Parkes. In March 1986, she was appointed principal cornet of Brass Band Berner Oberland, a position she held for ten years. She has taught at the Saanenland-Obersimmental Music School for over 30 years and was appointed Assistant Director in 2011. Véronique served for seven years as chair of the National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland and conducted the Brass Band Berner Oberland Junior from 2001 to 2004. She is resident conductor of the Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia and of the Musique Militaire of Rougemont.