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Youth Wind Band “Jong Eendracht” Kortrijk-Aalbeke (B)

The Youth Wind Band is based in Aalbeke, a village of 3000 inhabitants that is a part of the town of Kortrijk (Belgium).

It started in 1958 as an initiative of André Verleye, the then school principal and conductor of the local Royal Symphonic Wind Band Eendracht.

The aim was (and is) to prepare youngsters to their admission as musicians of the adult symphonic band. Especially after the establishment of a local department of the Kortrijk academy of music in 1966, the musical education of the youngsters improved in a striking way.

Since, the orchestra upholds a tradition of participating at different festivals and contests in Belgium and abroad (f.e. France, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria). The band received several first prices, even some ‘cum laude’, at the well-known European Youth Wind Band Festival in Neerpelt (B).

Every year, the band plays a concert in Christmas time. A music camp, where intensive rehearsals are combined with moments of social activities, prepares this concert.
During the whole year, the young musicians meet every week on Friday evening for a rehearsal. The very first beginners, aged 8-9, have their own little orchestra where they learn the basic skills of playing together. At 10, after having studied for at least two years at the music academy, they enter the youth band.

The band plays all kind of music, mostly the specific actual wind band music of Belgian and foreign composers.

Conductor

Since 2016, the youth band conductor is Stan Christiaens (°1996). He is studying trumpet at the Royal School of Arts in Ghent and plays as a musician with several symphonic wind band and brass bands.