100 years ago, Wind Band Contest 1915
Friday 30 July and Saturday 31 July
The 1915 Music Contest, as it was called at the time, was held on July 30th and 31st, under the threat of rain which, in the end, failed to materialize and did nothing to stop spectators turning out to watch. Over a thousand audience tickets were sold during the two days of the Contest.
On the morning of Friday 30 July, the participating bands marched through the streets of the city, performing pasadobles, until they arrived at the City Hall where they were received by the mayor. At three o'clock in the afternoon they paraded from various points around the city to converge on the bullring, where the official contest began at half past four.
After each band had played a pasadoble in the bullring, the seven bands in Division Two began their performances of their compulsory piece: "Silvana Overture" by Carl María Von Weber. The five bands in Division One then played their free-choice piece. The first day was brought to a close with performances by the three guest bands: the Valencia Municipal Wind Band with 70 musicians conducted by Luis Ayllón; the Centro Filarmónico of Cordoba "Eduardo Lucena" with 85 musicians conducted by José Molina; and the Madrid Municipal Wind Band with 90 musicians conducted by Ricardo Villa, who was also a member of the jury for this edition of the Contest, together with the composer and music critic Rogelio del Villar, and the teacher at the Valencia Conservatory, José Bellver.
At four o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday 31 July, the second day of the Contest began with a pasodoble procession inside the bullring. Once finished, the competition performances began with the Division One bands playing their compulsory piece: "Maila Overture" by the French composer Albert Charles Roussel. Then the bands in Division Two performed their free-choice piece. Once again, the day was brought to a close with performances by the Valencia Municipal Wind Band, the Centro Filarmónico of Cordoba "Eduardo Lucena" and the Madrid Municipal Wind Band, which was conducted by Ricardo Villa in their interpretation of his work "Fantasía Española", and which closed the event at eight forty-five pm with numerous, greatly-applauded encores.
At eleven thirty p.m. the conductors gathered at the City Hall for the announcement of the results, which were felt by all to be fair. There were no protests and the conductors of the winning bands collected their prizes.
The first day pasodoble prize of 150 pesetas went to the Banda "Agrícola" of Monserrat, which performed the pasodoble "Ecos Valencians" by Francisco Andrés Romero. The second day prize went to the Banda "Filarmónica" of Crevillente for their interpretation of "Todo son Nubes" by Román de San José Redondo.
Prizes in Division One: First Prize and 3,000 pesetas went to the 49 musicians of the Centro Instructivo "Unión Musical" of Líria and their conductor Eduardo Felip, who performed "Norwegian Artists' Carnival, Op. 14" by the Norwegian composer Johan Severin Svendsen; the First Accessit Prize and 2,000 pesetas was awarded to the 50 musicians of the Banda "Sociedad Musical" of Villarreal and their conductor José Goterris Sanmiguel, who performed "Obertura Dramática 1915", composed by their conductor; the Second Accessit Prize and 1,000 pesetas was won by the 50 musicians of the Banda "Primitiva" of Manises and their conductor Borrero Viñas, who performed the "Egmont Overture" by Ludwig Van Beethoven; the Third Accessit Prize and 500 pesetas went to the 50 musicians of the Banda "Filarmónica del Centro Vallense" of La Vall d'Uixó and their conductor Joaquín Rambla Castelló, who also performed "Norwegian Artists' Carnival, Op. 14" by Johan Severin Svendsen. Also taking part in Division One were the 55 musicians of the Banda "Sociedad Instructiva Musical" of Manises, who performed "Scènes Pittoresques" by Jules Massenet, conducted by Enrique García Gozalvo.
Prizes in Division Two: First Prize and 2,000 pesetas were awarded to the 37 musicians of the Banda "Primitiva" of Monserrat and their conductor Miguel Navarro Campos, who performed "Ruy Blas, Op. 95" by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. The First Accessit Prize and 1,000 pesetas went to the 39 musicians of the Tavernes de la Valldigna Municipal Wind Band, who performed "Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna" by Franz Von Suppé, conducted by Fernando Tormo Ibáñez. The Second Accessit Prize and 500 pesetas went to the 39 musicians of the Banda "Primitiva" of Carcagente, and their conductor Antonio Palanca Masiá, who also performed "Norwegian Artists' Carnival, Op. 14" by Johan Severin Svendsen. The Third Accessit Prize and 250 pesetas was awarded to the 36 musicians of the Banda "Corporación Musical" of Pobla de Vallbona, who performed "Les Érinnyes" by Jules Massenet, under the baton of Dionisio Pitarch Gomis.
The other participants in Division Two were: the 40 musicians of the Banda Filarmónica of Crevillente and their conductor Manuel Sánchez Samper, who performed the "France" overture by Víctor Buot; the 36 musicians of the Banda Agrícola Musical of Monserrat, conducted by Antonio Rodríguez Baldó, who performed "Euryanthe, Op. 81" by Carl María Von Weber; and the 36 musicians of the Antella Municipal Wind Band, conducted by José García Pastor, who played "Ruy Blas, Op. 95" by Félix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
Alfredo Ruíz / Daniel Belloví