By Stephen Tighe from the Sage in Gateshead, featuring the fabulous Eikanger Bjiorsvik Band.
Every third weekend in November, Sage Gateshead hosts the spectacle that is Brass in Concert (BiC). At this time of year the venue comes alive with the sound of brass. Some of the finest bands in the world compete in this brass entertainment contest.
The line-up for the 41st Brass in Concert included some very familiar bands such as Flowers who started the proceedings. Cory, our local Brighouse and Rastrick, Tredegar and our old friends from Leyland all took part. The contest also saw performances from Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag fifteen times winner of the Norwegian National brass band championships. Fountain City from the United States, winner of the 2015 North American Brass Band Championships and 2015 US Open Brass Band Champions. Also playing was Paris Brass band the 2015 French national brass band champions.
Well, what a weekend it was. The triumphant Norwegians won yet another major prize. Eikanger Bjiorsvik Band is now Brass in Concert champions for 2017. I confess that they have been my favourite brass band for many years. Innovative, experimental and just fantastic musicians. They stormed the event, made history and created many happy memories for themselves and their supporters. This makes them Norwegian National Champions, Siddis Champions, European Champions and BiC Champions in 2017.
Allegro Optical goes on tour
Allegro Optical took the opportunity of introducing our products and services in person for the first time in the form of a trade stand to the hundreds of bandsmen and women attending. It was a first for us, having invested in displays and printed material to help tell our story.
We met lots of really interesting people, caught up with old friends, and made new ones. It also confirmed that our unique service is in demand and needed desperately by older presbyopic musicians who are juggling 2 or 3 pairs of glasses unnecessarily to help them operate effectively when playing and performing at all different levels.
Music for all ages
We witnessed an excellent performance by Wardle Youth Band on the concourse on Saturday.
Many musicians, irrespective of discipline are quietly aware of the problems caused by presbyopia, a condition which affects a performer’s ability to focus at different working distances. Symptoms are problems with focusing caused by a reduction in the flexibility of the eye’s crystalline lens and ciliary muscle.
Often musicians experiencing these problems go to their opticians, looking for a solution. Many opticians have the solution to non-specialist problems but are unaware of how to use their knowledge to fix the problem for musicians and simply do not fully understand the problem. At Allegro Optical we are opticians who are also music performers, we play many different instruments in different ensembles, so we understand the many optical challenges musicians face and we specialise in solving those problems.
We have developed a range of unique lenses and an algorithmic formula to solve these optical problems. We have the Product, knowledge, skill and ability to improve the mature musician’s lot.
We’ve had a great weekend enjoying some fabulous music, catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and witnessing history in the making as Eikanger-Bjørsvik scooped the first prize, becoming the first International band to win the contest.
We are looking forward to attending the area contests in Huddersfield and Blackpool next year. We continue to help musicians throughout the year, so if you need help, don’t worry, just ring 01484 90 70 90 and speak to one of our professional team.