Burgemeester Opening Europese Brassbandkampioenschappen 2018

Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Utrecht, stadhuis, 4 mei 2018

Dear all, dear music enthusiasts from all over of Europe,

Welcome to Utrecht. Welcome to the European capital of brass band music. And welcome to the European Brass Band Championships 2018.

Thank you, Mr Alferink (Appie) and Mr Rosenburg (Ulf), for your generous comments. Forgive the pun, but they were music to my ears.

European Youth Brass Band: thank you kindly for the musical introduction. This is a highly promising start to a splendid musical event.

An event which commences on a special day for all Dutch citizens. Just to inform our foreign guests: today is Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. Today, we commemorate both the victims of war and those who fell during peace-keeping operations.

This evening, our King and Queen will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in Amsterdam. A bugler will then play taps on National television, whereupon we observe two minutes’ silence. I always listen to it with bated breath. I wouldn’t want to swap places with the bugler.

I am quite sure that millions of my countrymen share the same sentiment… I greatly admire people who can hold their nerve. Particularly on occasions when they are the centre of attention. And even more so when they produce their best performance.
Top musical performances… that is what we are set to witness at these championships. Last weekend, local brass bands and musicians captivated audiences at various venues throughout Utrecht. During the next few days, twenty-six leading bands, representing sixteen countries,  will do battle on stage for the ultimate prize. The European Youth Brass Band, which just performed for you, is also set to play at tomorrow’s Liberation Festival.

The absolute crème de la crème has congregated in Utrecht. And last but not least, the grand finale: the Gala Concert... in which amateur and professional musicians, brass band and classical musicians alike are to collaborate.

And ZIMIHC has grasped the opportunity - that this concert offers - to highlight Utrecht in numerous ways. The theme is ‘Light & Shade’. It was inspired by the Caravaggio Exhibition, which Utrecht’s Central Museum is to host from December next. If the Gala Concert whets your appetite, then be sure to return to Utrecht. Then, as now, we shall receive you with a fanfare of trumpets.

Dear all, dear music enthusiasts,

I can feel the tension rising… You are waiting with bated breath for the championships to start. Just inhale calmly… then exhale again. The time has come for you to show off your lung capacity. I wish you all the best of luck. May the best musicians win. Above all, however, I wish you a great deal of pleasure. Pleasure in performing, pleasant sights and pleasant sounds. After all, apart from musical talent, it is pleasure which unites all of you. Utrecht is ready for it. I hope you are, too.
I am highly honoured to announce the start of the European Brass Band Championships 2018 in Utrecht. Let’s kick some brass…