Monday, 15 March 2021

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EBBA European Online Brass Band Festival 2021

Over the weekend of Friday 7 to Sunday 9 May, brass band communities from Europe and around the world will be able to enjoy the unique energy and flavour of the annual European Brass Band Championships [EBBC] from their homes. The European Brass Band Association [EBBA] and principal partner World of Brass have joined forces to present a European Online Brass Band Festival free to view via World of Brass streaming service wobplay.


As EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg observes, “The global pandemic continues to disrupt normal life. Sadly, we had to cancel EBBC in Palanga last year and in Malmö in May, so we are delighted to be able to produce a packed weekend of online events with our principal partner World of Brass for everyone to enjoy.”

Our hosts for the weekend are the inimitable Frank Renton with Helen Varley, respected tenor horn soloist and teacher. Their guest list includes leading conductors, composers and players and they’ll be delving into the World of Brass video archive to bring you the best of arguably the world’s most prestigious brass band contest from the past 18 years.  

The playlist already includes inspiring performances from some of Europe’s best youth bands.  We’ll also be celebrating the youthful energy and exuberance of the European Youth Brass Band and marvelling at the artistry of some of the finest symphonic and brass soloists and ensembles from the annual Gala Concerts. We’ve some outstanding highlights from the Challenge section to share and there will also be a chance to see how the careers of prize-winners of the European Soloist Championships have developed.

At the heart of every EBBC are the set test piece and own choice contests. Some of the commissioned works have become brass band classics. The own-choice contest is one of the most keenly anticipated and exciting occasions of the brass band year. We need your help to create the playlists for these shows, to re-create something of their unique atmosphere with their combination of high skill and high-octane energy.

We are inviting you to vote for your favourite set test piece (2003-2019) and your favourite own choice performance (2003-2019) from a list of six pieces nominated by two panels of EBBC ‘alumni’ - players, conductors, media and organisers. We will create a play list from your votes and find out what is, in your collective opinion, the ultimate test piece composition and own-choice performance since 2003.

In alphabetical order, the nominations are:


Audivi Media Nocte            

Oliver Waespi              

Montreux, 2011

Extreme Make-Over             

Johan de Meij              

Groningen, 2005


Thierry Deleruyelle

Lille, 2016

From Ancient Times

Jan van der Roost

Oostende, 2009

St. Magnus                           

Kenneth Downie

Glasgow, 2004

Vita Aeterna Variations

Alexander Comitas

Rotterdam, 2012

Nominated by Markus Bach, Robert Childs, Kenneth Crookston, Florent Didier, Iwan Fox, Philip Harper, Katrina Marzella, Jocelyne Moren, Berit Palmquist, Frode Rydland, Ulf Rosenberg, Rieks van der Velde.

The set-test has become a core element in the annual EBBC. Having a new commission from one of the leading composers from the host country has produced an extremely valuable legacy for the EBBC. We are delighted that we can cooperate with World of Brass, making use of their archive of exciting contemporary European brass band music.’            [Ulf Rosenberg, EBBA President]


Cory Band (Philip Harper)

Raveling, Unraveling (Sparke)            

Lille, 2016

Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)

Fraternity (Deleruyelle) 

Oostende, 2017

Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Ingar Bergby)


Utrecht, 2018

Yorkshire Building Society Band (David King)

Concerto Grosso (Bourgeois)          

Bergen, 2003

Yorkshire Building Society Band  (David King)

Music of the Spheres (Sparke) 

Glasgow, 2004

Valaisia Brass Band (Arsène Duc)

The Turing Test (Dobson)                 

Utrecht, 2018

Nominated by Markus Bach, Trevor Caffull, Joe Cassells, Kenneth Crookston, Iwan Fox, Paul Hindmarsh, Berit Palmquist, Frank Renton, Frode Rydland, Christopher Thomas, Alexander Zwaan.

'We are very grateful to all those who gave of their time to recall some of their EBBC highlights. They were spoilt for choice of course, finding the selection of just six own choice performances especially challenging, but they have come up with two short lists of outstanding quality.’  [Paul Hindmarsh, Chair EBBA Music Commission] 

To vote for your two favourites, please click:

Voting closes on Friday 26 March.

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