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The Music Commission of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) is pleased to announce the set test pieces for the 7th European Youth Brass Band Contest to be held in the Concert Hall, Palanga, Lithuania, Sunday 3 May 2020.
European Youth Brass Band Contest (Premier Section)
The Baltic Way by Jan de Haan
The Baltic Way, or The Baltic Chain as it is also remembered, was a demonstration staged in the Baltic states as a call for independence from the Soviet Union. On August 23, 1989, approximately two million participants linked hands from Vilnius through Riga to Tallinn, forming a human chain some six hundred kilometres long. It became the longest human chain ever created and turned out to be the final overture to much sought-after independence. This historic event is the source of inspiration for Jan de Haan’s three-movement composition.
The first movement, Struggle for Independence, opens with a reference to a nocturne for piano by the renowned Lithuanian composer and painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911), thematic material from which has been used throughout the composition. The powerful music that follows reflects the resolve and resistance of the Baltic people. A reference to the anthem of the Soviet Union in the lower brass is relentlessly pushed aside as the rest of the band plays the Lithuanian national anthem, ‘Tautiška giesmė’ (Lithuania, Our Homeland). The second movement, Decades of Suffering, echoes life under the Soviet Union. The pursuit of independence, culminating in the dramatic symbolism of the Chain of Freedom stretching right across the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is depicted in the final movement.
The Baltic Way was commissioned by Palangos Orkestras for the Premier Section of the European Youth Brass Band Championships 2020 and is dedicated to Remigius Vilys.
Duration: 10 mins 30 secs
The work will be available from 15 December 2019 at Hal Leonard / De Haske
Jan de Haan (b. 1951) is respected throughout the work of brass and wind bands asprolific composer, conductor, teacher, publisher and adjudicator. He has worked with famous brass, wind and fanfare bands from Brighouse and Rastrick in Yorkshire to the Kosei Wind Orchestra in Tokyo. Jan was the musical director of the Dutch brass band Soli Brass until 1994. Between 1978 and 1989 he served as conductor, composer and arranger for Dutch radio and television, producing over 100 music programs. In 1983 Jan founded the publisher De Haske and now devotes his time to composing, arranging and conducting.
European Youth Brass Band Contest (Development Section)
Lithuanian Dances arranged by Kazys Daugėla
In ancient times, many of Lithuania’s national celebrations and rituals involved dance, which were given names according to their function. Circular or ring dances (rateliai), games (žaidimai) and paired dances (šokiai) were performed for parties and celebrations, as were polyphonic singing dances (Sutartinių šokiai), which paired specific dance steps with archaic songs. Some became so elaborate that they are also known as "games". In the late 19th century and early 20th century game dances were gradually replaced by ring dances. Today folk dances usually go hand in hand with folk songs and are performed on stage, but originally they would include entire communities.
Lithuanian Dances is a sequence of seven popular folk dances from various regions of the country. Aštuonnytis is a dance portraying the spinning of yarn and the weaving of fabric. Gyvataras is a moody, medium tempo dance. Džigūnas (The Jig) imitates a galloping horse. Linelis (Little Flax) is one of the oldest game dances reflecting human life and work in the fields. Rezginėlė is a girls’ dance characterised by weaving figures. Sadutė is danced at the home of a bride by her closest girl friends on the eve of the wedding. Suktinis (Twirler) is the traditional finale dance at all folk-dance festivals. The piece incorporates national folk instruments - skrabalai (wooden bells) and skudučiai (Panpipes) - for optional performance.
For this contest, Kazys Daugėla has replaced these parts with xylophone and muted brass, respectively.
The performing material of Lithuanian Dances is being produced specially for the contest and can be ordered from 15 December exclusively by email from Paul Hindmarsh, Chair EBBA Music Commission, email@example.com
Kazys Daugėla (b. 1960) is an award-winning composer/arranger, conductor and teacher.He is an associate professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music in Vilnius, where he teaches conducting, scoring, music history and arranging. He composes in many styles from marches and overtures for wind orchestra to children’s songs and is a prolific arranger. In 1990 his arrangement of the Lithuanian State Anthem was awarded the Grand Prix. The repertoire of the State Wind Orchestra "Trimitas" and Lithuanian Army Band includes a many of his compositions and arrangements