Maastricht Verkennersband back on world stage

The Maastricht Verkennersband – MVB (Maastricht Show and Marching Band) has registered for the World Music Contest – WMC 2022 in Kerkrade. Despite the Covid pandemic, the band has welcomed many new members from the world of brass bands. As a result, the band can participate in both the marching and show competitions.

"We have noticed that the Covid pandemic has made a lot of people think about how they want to spend their free time, which has certainly not done us any harm. Things are going very well. A new era and a new challenge seem to go together perfectly for many," says Alain Garnier, show designer and band instructor.

The band will compete in the World Division during the final weekend of the competition. The music for the marching contests has not yet been finalised.

"Although all arrangements are always written for our band, we try out all kinds of music before making a final choice," says Garnier. The concept for the new twelve-minute show, however, is quite a different story. "At the beginning of 2020, the entire music had been arranged and we started rehearsing. Then the Covid pandemic broke out and we actually did nothing for a year."

At the WMC, the band will perform their show called 'The sky is the limit'. With this concept the band explores airspace and brings a well-balanced musical composition of songs that all have something to do with flying or the air, but they also search for the limit of what the members can do. A title with a double meaning. Garnier: "In the opening part of the show, the musicians have to work on a 160 tempo and many rapid changes of direction, but we also use soloists. We tap into different styles such as heavy metal, film music and happy hardcore. We also bring a compelling ballad. We find it important that the audience is captivated for twelve minutes, with a good balance between recognisability and a high performance level. That is an extremely thin dividing line."

For the music, the band joined forces with top arranger Dennis Hazenoot who arranges the music for countless corps in the show sector. "Dennis has a perfect feel for the style and sound of our band and at the same time provides innovation and challenges," says conductor Stefan Outjers.

In addition to Outjers and Garnier, the instructional team consists of professional trombonists Dennis Close and Martin Garnier, supported by a series of experienced members. It enables the band to rehearse simultaneously in smaller groups so that every detail can receive the right attention. "It also works very efficiently. We don't know what's in store for us in terms of Covid regulations, so it's important that we make the best possible use of every available minute," Outjers concludes.