The Band


Founded in 1931, the royal wind orchestra Volksopbeuring Massemen now has become one of the best amateur orchestras of Flanders/Belgium. At this moment we are the highest placed wind band in eastern Flanders.
Today, the company has over 100 active members. All playing members are skilled musicians.


The band started as a local band, to perform only at celebrations and feasts in the village and the neighbourhood.
This changed completely in the beginning of the sixties, after the appointment as director of Willy Dauwe, a professional trombone player and professor at the music academy in Wetteren.


Under the leadership of this director, the band won his first classification in the provincial contest. This success increased under the lead of a number of well-known directors as: Guido Dhaene(+) Geert Baeten and Geert Steen.

Actually the director of the band is the well known Diederik De Roeck , a young and ambitious professional musician. Diederik is a trumpet-player, member of the Beethoven Academy in Antwerp and free-lance player for the most famous Belgian orchestras such as the Flemish Opera, I Fiamminghi, the Royal Mint, the national philharmonic Orchestra etc. He is professor at the school of music in Leuven and teacher at the local academy in Lennik.


Our orchestra participates regularly at all sorts of contests: local, national and international.
The first contest was in 1963 when we won our first classification (3 th division) and since we never ceased to increase the level of the band. We finally became our first “division of honour” in 1999 and confirmed this on the 11 th of march 2000 when we also won this contest and became national champion .

The 7th of july 2001 Volksopbeuring obtained a first price (90,95 %) and a gold medal at the famous world music concours in Kerkrade/the Netherlands.

In 2002 the band became, for the second time, provincial champion ‘Vlamo’ in Berlare in Honour division and received in 2003 the first national ‘vlamo’ title at the same venue. We still hope to be able to convince de board of the province of east Flanders to start a ‘Excellence’ category.

Each year we give concerts and arrange other festivities. There are several other music-events taken care of.


In 1994 started the building of our own hall. This became, trough the years, a real music-temple.

Our first CD was recorded in the autumn of 1999.The end result is a high-level piece of wind-music.
This CD also gives a cultural image to our community. The title ‘Progression’ points at the enormous progression the wind orchestra realised during the last years.

The band is governed by a young and dynamic board, made up by musicians and non-musicians. Since 1998 all organisations are project managed.

Since 2001 Volksopbeuring is recognised by the Flemish community. This means that organisations who book our band can be subsidized by the government.


1. The target

Each week there is a band practice, needed to prepare for different concerts and contests.
We especially concentrate on art-concerts, openings of exhibitions, music and cultural festivals in Belgium and abroad, concerts with soloists, aperitif concerts etc.

In 1998 our orchestra received an invitation to play at the official opening of the international cultural festival in the Swedish Växjö. In 2001 we were invited at the international festival for wind bands in Going am Wilden Kaiser in Austria.
In 2004 we received an invitation from the Maltese governement to adorn the entry of Malta into the E.E.C.

The program of these concerts is very varied. High levelled compositions are diversified with music out of the classical, soundtrack and popular repertoire.

Due to the talent who houses Volksopbeuring, we arrange concerts with soloists. Organisators are free to choose their favoured music.

Not all activities are work. We organise a lot of sidelines such as karaoke, youth camps, feasts, exhibitions,
cycling trips etc.

We constantly work to increase the level of the band. We organize fascinating and skilled musical projects as
Master class, CD-realisation, concert trips, playins, and music camps etc. all this to give our musicians the opportunity to play together with members out of other bands, from time to time directed by the best of today’s composers, to better their level and play in optimal conditions.

If you would like to know us better, we invite you to one of our band practices in our own hall.


2. The repertoire

On the repertoire are especially compositions for wind orchestra. We play a lot of recent work of Belgian and Dutch composers.
These composers write music with a high degree of artistic value and all the instruments get their chance.
These compositions are most of the time obligated in the county contests.
We dispose of a great many scores, classified in a high standard library.

If you want to see or listen to our band: on our website you find photographs and music!


3. The hall

Like all associations over the world, if you have a thriving society you want a spot for yourself: where you can work, drink, talk, make friends, and especially: make music without interference or obligations.
The idea of having our own spot dates already of the beginning of the sixties, when we were forced to hire a pub in order to have a place to rehearse.

The tackling of such a plan needed several years of careful planning under the guidance of our actual president Mr. Remi Van Bellegem.

He convinced the members of the council that we needed this place very badly. Finally we became a plot of land in the middle of the town center. Plans were made and builders contacted.
We started the building of our hall in 1993 and finished it in 1994. Most of the building work was done by the members of the band themselves.

The festive opening happened on the 1st of October 1994. Through the years, the hall ‘Volksopbeuring’ became the place to be, the place where musicians feel at home.
Everybody knows the ‘music hall’ in the village and most of the villagers found there way to the hall for al sorts of festivities.

4. Challenges for the future

If you read the brochure attentively, you will have remarked that ‘volksopbeuring’ never stops working.
Due to the dynamic and demanding members the board is striving for new targets.
This is not always simple and often demands social and financial sacrifices.

All we want is to play and promote high levelled contemporary wind music and ask attention for the great number of bands who plays it enthusiastically. That’s the way we like to motivate our young musicians: to stay in the band, spend a lot of their precious free time, but be part of an unique and cultural association.



The Hall:
Hall Volksopbeuring
Dorpsplein 5a
B-9230 Massemen
tel : +32 (0)471 65 45 26
(not always present)

Tessy Baele
Warandestraat 23
9230 Wetteren
tel : +32 (0)498 16 89 92



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