The Activities of the NPO
Every year the Association organizes a gala concert at the Brussels “Palais des Beaux-Arts” for the benefit of the King Baudouin Foundation or other charitable works which call on its co-operation. Numerous personalities from the political world, the Diplomatic Corps and State Establishment regularly do attend those concerts. We even welcomed members of the Royal Family at several concerts.
The Association has produced a lot of compact discs with works of Belgian composers including Paul Gilson, Jean Absil, Victor Legley, Auguste De Boeck, Jean-Marie Simonis, Jean Louël, François Glorieux, Franz Constant, René Defossez, Jacqueline Fontyn, Gaston Brenta, Francis Bourguignon, Maurice Schoemaker, René Bernier, Marcel Poot, Théo Dejoncker, Jules Strens and Jan van Landeghem.
We have also produced numerous other compact discs with works of great composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Piotr Tchaikovsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Igor Stravinsky, Georges Gershwin, Hector Berlioz, Manuel de Falla, Georges Bizet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, Ida Gotkovsky, Maurice Ravel, Ottorino Respighi, Serge Rachmaninov, Jan Van der Roost, Dimitri Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns and many more.
These recordings have allowed the Great Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides to demonstrate the great extent of its repertoire and the supreme quality of its musicians.
The catalogue of compact discs realized by the Association boasts over fifty titles. We do hope to continually enlarge this catalogue in the next years in order to supply the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides with more possibilities to demonstrate its exceptional musical qualities and, whenever possible, to make Belgian composers better known.
Both during concerts and recording sessions, the Association endeavors to offer the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides opportunities to work with some of the best national and international soloists, such as Walter Boeykens, Evgeny Moguilevsky, Daniel Blumenthal, Jean-Claude Van den Eynden, Barbara Hendrickx, Isabelle Kabatu, Thomas Dieltjens, Jean Leclercq, Alexander Vaguener, Plamena Mangova, Jan Michiels, Jenny Spanoghe, Eliane Rodrigues, Lorenzo Gatto and Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, also with renowned guest conductors including Willy Claes, Valery Kahlilov, Roger Boutry, Jan Van der Roost and Jean Baily and several choirs such as the Choir of the European Community, the Brussels Choral Society and the Arenberg Choir.
There has also been a most effective collaboration with Europalia which engendered the joint organization of gala concerts: Europalia Bulgaria in 2002, Europalia Italy in 2003, Europalia Russia in 2005, Europalia Europe in 2007, Europalia China in 2009 and Europalia Brazil in 2011.
The 2006 gala concert was also very prestigious as it was organized in association with the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and conducted by guest conductor Georges Octors. It also allowed two young talents of the chapel, violinist Lorenzo Gatto and pianist Plamena Mangova, to perform with a large wind orchestra before they were winners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
As a result of our collaboration with the “Académie Royale de Belgique”- Fine Arts section, the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides has been awarded the Prize of the Academy and several concerts, including our 2010 gala concert, have been organized.
Since 1994, the NPO produces and diffuses the quarterly magazine “Concerto” for its members, the band’s musicians and personalities of the cultural scene. The Association is particularly proud to have published in 2003 the band’s history by Francis Pieters: “La Musique Royale des Guides – Un siècle d’enregistrements” (in French) and “De Koninklijke Muziekkapel van de Gidsen – Honderd jaar geluidsdragers” (in Dutch).
Other less spectacular realizations which nevertheless deserve to be mentioned:
- A commemoration medal issued for the 175th anniversary of the Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guide in 2007;
- A joint gala concert with the symphonic band of the Paris Garde Républicaine in 1995;
- A composition contest;
- Regular commissions of new original wind band works by Belgian and foreign composers;
- The presentation of a ceramic by Max van der Linden to Queen Fabiola, for the benefit of King Baudouin Memorial; this ceramic reminds the numerous links of the 1st Guides Regiment and its band with the Royal Family.