100 years ago, Wind Band Contest 1916
Monday 31 July and Tuesday 1 August
A hundred years ago, the Wind Band Contest of 1916 was held in the bullring on Calle Játiva and straddled July and August, taking place on 31 July and 1 August. A total of fourteen bands took part in the contest: seven in Division Two and seven in Division One. The Valencia Municipal Wind Band and Municipal Orchestra appeared as guest bands, closing both days of the Contest.
As was customary, the Contest began at three o'clock in the afternoon with the participating bands marching through the streets of the city, converging on the bullring from various departure points as they played pasadobles and were followed by a large audience.
At half past four the jury was convened. Its members were Arturo Saco del Valle, Music Major and Director of the Valencia Symphony Orchestra, Ramón Martínez Carrasco, Director of the Valencia Conservatory of Music, and Antonio Torrandell Alomar, Director of the Band of Mallorca Regiment No. 13.
When the parade had finished, the seven bands in Division Two each took a turn on the stage where they performed the compulsory piece, "OUVERTURE ESPAGNOLE" by Charles Marie Widor. Subsequently the seven bands in Division One each played their free-choice piece. At half past eight, the 70 musicians of the Valencia Municipal Band took to the stage under the baton of Luis Ayllón Portillo. The day's performances were brought to a close by the 80 musicians of the Valencia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arturo Saco del Valle.
The second day of the Contest began in the same way as the first, with the participating bands marching through the city streets, inviting the public to attend the music contest. At four o'clock, once all the bands were inside the bullring, they began the official parade around the arena. This was followed by the bands in Division One performing their compulsory piece, "KING LEAR OVERTURE Op. 4" by Hector Berlioz. Then the bands in Division Two played their free-choice pieces which were all enthusiastically applauded by the audience. The day's performances were brought to a close by the Valencia Municipal Band and Valencia Symphony Orchestra as the jury left to deliberate and travel to the Pabellón Municipal. The winners were announced at twenty past midnight in the Pabellón Municipal on the Paseo de la Alameda.
The first-day pasadoble prize and 150 pesetas went to the Centro Instructivo Unión Musical de Líria, which played the "Sirène" pasadoble by Gabriel Allier, and the second-day prize went to the Godella Municipal Band, which marched playing the "Canción del Harén" pasadoble by Camilo Pérez Laporta.
The prizes in Division One were as follows: First Prize and 3,000 pesetas were awarded to the 55 musicians of the "Centro Artístico Musical" Band of Moncada and their conductor, Joaquín Pérez Rodríguez, who performed "Escenas Napolitanas" composed by Jules Massenet; the First Accessit Prize and 2,000 pesetas went to the 52 musicians of the Banda Centro Instructivo "Unión Musical" de Líria and their conductor, Eduardo Felip Suárez, who played "Recuerdos" (from Sonata No. 3) by Carl María Von Weber; the Second Accessit Prize and 1,000 pesetas was won by the 51 musicians of the "Sociedad Instructiva Musical" de Manises and their conductor, Enrique García, who played the "Maila" overture by Albert Charles Roussel; the Third Accessit Prize and 500 pesetas went to the 60 musicians of the Banda "Filarmónica Vallense" de la Vall d'Uixó and their conductor, Joaquín Rambla, who played the "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner.
In Division One the bands which did not win a prize were: the Banda Sociedad Musical "La Unión" de Sueca with 53 musicians, who played the "Maila" overture by Albert Charles Roussel and were conducted by Vicente Navarro; the Sociedad Musical de Villarreal with 55 musicians conducted by José Goterris, who also played the "Maila" overture by Albert Charles Roussel; and the Banda Patronato Musical de Pueblo Nuevo del Mar de Valencia with 50 musicians, who played the first and second movement of the "New World Symphony" by Antonin Dvorak, conducted by José Borrero.
The prizes awarded in Division Two were as follows: First Prize and 2,000 pesetas were awarded to the 39 musicians of the Banda "Corporación Musical" de Pobla de Vallbona and their conductor, Dionisio Pitarch Gomis, who played the "Silvana" overture by Carl María Von Weber; the First Accessit Prize and 1,000 pesetas went to the 39 musicians of the Banda "La Lealtad" de Villamarchante and their conductor, Alberto Martín Manzano, who played the "Egmont Op. 84" overture by Ludwig Van Beethoven; the Second Accessit prize and 500 pesetas was won by the 40 musicians of the Banda "Agrícola" de Monserrat and their conductor, Antonio Rodríguez Baldó, who performed the "Silvana" overture by Carl María Von Weber; the Third Accessit Prize and 250 pesetas went to the 40 musicians of the Banda Municipal de Tavernes de la Valldigna and their conductor, Fernando Tormo Ibáñez, who played the movements known as "A Ball" and the "March to the Scaffold" from the "Symphonie Fantastique" by Hector Berlioz.
In Division Two the bands which did not win a prize were: the Banda de la Sociedad Instructiva Musical de Benimaclet with 40 musicians conducted by Enrique Báez, who played the "Mignon" overture by Ambroise Thomas; the Godella Municipal Band with 39 musicians conducted by Mariano Ruano, who performed the "Ruy Blas" overture by Felix Mendelssohn; and the Banda del Centro Musical "La Nueva" de Alacuás with 40 musicians conducted by Francisco Forment, who played "The Merry Wives of Windsor" by Otto Carl Nicolai.
Alfredo Ruíz / Daniel Belloví