D’hollander Students Take Top Honors

For the first time, two Americans earned first and second place at the seventh International Queen Fabiola Carillon Competition in Mechelen, Belgium. Winner Joey Brink and runner-up Brian Tang both traveled to Lake Wales this spring to prepare for the world’s most prestigious competition under the guidance of Gardens’ Carillonneur Gert D’hollander.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Geert said. “It is truly an amazing accomplishment.”

Winner of the first Queen Fabiola Competition in 1987, Geert’s name was also on the program this summer. He was given the honor to introduce a compulsory composition for mobile carillon and strings.

While mobile carillons have been in existence for decades, Geert’s new composition further advanced the art form on a worldwide stage. Generally recognized as a classic tower instrument, this smaller variation makes it possible to enter concert halls and play carillon music along with other instruments and ensembles.

This four-day competition is undoubtedly the most important in the carillon world. It is also a strong stimulant for the recognition of the art of the carillon as an artistic performance of the highest standard. The five most promising participants from a worldwide pre-selection process competed in the final round for the first place prize, which included a required performance of Geert’s new composition.

Former winners used this competition to help build an international reputation, including: Geert D’hollander (1987), Boudewijn Zwart (1990), Gideon Bodden (1993), Tom Van Peer (1998), Twan Bearda (2003) and Kenneth Theunissen (2008).

Congratulations Brian, Geert and Joey!