In July 2017 more than 20,000 musicians will particiate in the World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade, Netherlands. 260 Bands with an average of 80 musicians from 32 countries and 5 continents will compete for a place in the top of the world of wind music. Never before have so many bands registered for participation in the four annual event in the south of the Netherlands.
The WMC-organisation is pleased with this number of registrations and the undiminished popularity of the festival. “The quality of the registrations is very high”, says artistic leader of the festival Harrie Reumkens, “and we can conclude that the top of the band world still chooses for Kerkrade. Everybody wants to be here.” The organisation is even more pleased with the fact, that more than 50 debutant bands will take part for the first time in 2017.
Countries where the popularity of wind music has increased over the last few years have now registered in numbers, among them bands from Latin America and Asia. The participation by bands from Columbia and the People’s Republic of China is a direct result of the developing efforts by WMC in these countries.
But also in Europe the attention for WMC is still growing. Besides registrations from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy this time also bands and musicians from Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Czechia and Bosnia-Herzegovina will participate. In these countries WMC and WASBE among others have been actively involved in the development of wind music.
Many of the champions from WMC 2013 will be present to defend their titles. In the section Brass Band Manger Musikklag and the Spijkerpakkenband will try to hold on to their top classification, and in the section Fanfare Band Kempenbloei Achel and St. Caecilia Puth will be aiming for the same. In the Parkstad Limburg Stadium, besides champions K&G Leiden and Advendo, a number of top Thai bands will be present. In the Concert Contest for Percussion Ensembles Cadenza Twello will defend its title, and former multiple WMC Champion Ste. Cécile Eijsden and Dutch Open Champion Banda Sinfonica Portugal will give concerts in the WMC Concert Series.
The WMC-festival has been organised since 1951 in the former mining town of Kerkrade. The area has a rich history where wind music is concerned, and WMC is since decades the highest podium in the world of wind music. The upcoming 18th edition will take place from 6 until 30 July 2017, and is expected to draw more than 350,000 visitors. Besides the concert and marching show contests a large fringe festival will be organised in the center of Kerkrade, as well as a number of concerts all over the province of Limburg.