Belgian cornet star Harmen Vanhoorne is enjoying a few days of relaxation at home following the completion of his latest playing tour to New Zealand and Australia.
The Besson artist was originally asked to return to play with North Shore Brass at the New Zealand National Championships in Napier, but soon found that others also wanted to enjoy the experience of working with one of the world’s foremost cornet stars.
As a result he enjoyed a wonderful time giving concerts and masterclasses and was even asked to appear on Radio NZ to tell the nation a little bit more about his visit to their country.
His trip took in performance and conducting visits to Auckland, Christchurch (where he played with Woolston Brass), Invercargill (linking up with Ascot Park Brass) and Dunedin, where he gave masterclasses with Kaikorai Brass.
He was also delighted to once again perform at the National Championships, especially as he had the opportunity to give the premiere of the winning piece from the 2016 SOUNZ Composers Competition, entitled, ‘Elegy for Cornet and Piano’ by David Woodcock.
Following his New Zealand visit he then flew to Australia to give a series of masterclasses in Brisbane, Sydney, Geelong, Melbourne and Traralgon — a total of 30 pieces in 17 different schools in just six weeks in the two countries.
Despite the extensive travel he told 4BR that it was a trip to remember for all the right reasons — despite his beloved Belgian football team being knocked out of the Euro 2016 Championships by Wales!
“It was a fantastic experience,” he told 4BR. “After we met up in Napier (see below) I went onto Australia and had another brilliant time. The support I had from Besson and everyone I met and stayed with on my travels was something special.
I must thank everyone for their welcome and to tell them it was an experience I will never forget.”
After we met up in Napier I went onto Australia and had another brilliant time. The support I had from Besson and everyone I met and stayed with on my travels was something specialHarmen Vanhoorne
He added: “I was a bit homesick when Belgium lost in the football, but the welcome I received in both countries made me soon forget that! I really can’t wait to return here again — it’s a wonderful banding community.”
Harmen has had little time though to put his feet up however, as in the next few days he heads to South Korea with Paris Brass Band.