Erik Desimpelaere (°1990) had his first musical education at the local music school in Harelbeke, where he studied piano (with Lieve Clement) and took courses of music theory, music history and jazz. He also studied flute at the local school of music in Waregem, with Veerle Secember. He was first prize winner in the Lions-Liederick music Competition of Harelbeke, for Piano and Jazz Piano. At the music competition ‘Dexia-Classics’ (BE) he obtained first prizes for chamber music and jazz. During Prof. Guido Coghe's music theory lessons, his interest in composition originated. He participated twice in the composition competition ‘Op weg naar het Nieuwjaarsconcert’ of the ‘Nederlands Blazers Ensemble’ (NL) and reached both times the final round. In 2009 and 2011, Erik was second Prize winner in the Composition Competition of Cantabile (BE).
He obtained a Master Diploma of Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in Piet Kuijken's class and a Master Diploma of Composition at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp in Wim Henderickx's and Luc Van Hove's class. He currently studies Orchestral Conducting at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Ed Spanjaard and Lucas Vis.
In 2011, he received the ‘Prix Agniez’, awarded by the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, for his woodwind quintet ‘Les cinq Motets d’Mirages’. During the summer of 2011, Erik was one of eleven finalists in the ‘International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition’ in Prague (CZ). During five days, each finalist has to compose two new pieces, which are judged by an international Jury. During this final Erik received two Prizes: ‘The 2nd Prize in Junior Category’ and the ‘Special Prize for the best free composition among Junior Participants’. In 2012, he was again finalist in this competition. This time he obtained three prizes: The ‘Special Prize for the best fugue among Junior Participants’, the ‘Special Prize for the best chamber music’ and in general the ‘3rd Prize in Junior Category’.
In 2012, he was awarded the ‘Prix Buffin de Chosal’ for counterpoint, by the Brussels Conservatory. In February 2013, Erik was one of three finalists in the ‘International Composition Contest for Wind Band’ in the city of Harelbeke (BE), with his work ‘Secreta’. He obtained the First Prize and the Prize of the public. In september 2013 he received, together with his brother David, the 'Kompast Prize', awarded by the Past President club of JCI Harelbeke (BE).
In September 2015, Erik also became chief conductor of the Kortrijk Symphony Orchestra (BE).
Pieter Vandenberghe (°1982) started his musical education at the music academy of Harelbeke, where he studied piano and euphonium. He obtained the title of Master of Musical Arts at the Conservatory of Ghent (in Johan Duijck's class), in addition to a summa cum laude degree for piano. After this, he also graduated with a Master diploma for euphonium (guided by Guy Audenaert) and studied Conducting with Dirk Brossé. He followed masterclasses given by Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Jan Michiels, Boyan Vodenicharov and Jukka Myllys.
Pieter has worked as piano and orchestra teacher in different music academies and remains an active chamber music player and assistant in competitions. He also plays the euphonium in the Royal Music Band of the Belgian Defence Force and the piano in the Royal Wind Band of the Belgian Guides.
From 2007 to 2010, Pieter directed the symphonic wind band 'de Filharmonie' in Kortrijk and spends his leisure time playing at the Leieland Brass Band and Braz'art. In these organizations, he also regularly operates as assistant conductor and performs as soloist, with both premieres and soloist prizes on his record.
Pieter is a frequently asked musician in the Flemish wind and brass world and has been playing for years in the musical theater comany Oot Kwizien.
Conductor Young Vooruit & honorary conductor
Geert Verschaeve studied Trombone at the Music Conservatory of Ghent, where he was awarded several prizes, among which several for trombone and chamber music. After graduating, he was appointed teacher at the Academy for Musical, Dramatic and Dance Arts Harelbeke, as well as at Kunsthumaniora Gent. He also became a frequently asked trombone player in many Flemish orchestras and has played as trombone soloist at the Flemish Opera of Antwerp. In 1986, he was appointed conductor of the Symphonic Wind Band Vooruit, succeeding his mentor Gustaaf Devolder and exerting this task for more than thirty years, until 2015. With Geert's guidance, Vooruit has built up an impressive record, thanks to an impressive range of successes within as well as outside Belgium. For instance, Vooruit was awarded first prize multiple times at the competitions in Valencia (ES) and Kerkrade (NL). At the moment, Geert teaches at the music academy of Harelbeke, Kunsthumaniora Gent and Hogeschool Gent.
Assistants repertoire choice & musical planning
David Vandekerckhove & Tim Van Thuyne
David Vandekerckhove (°1974) has been a Vooruit member since 1987 as percussionist and first bass tuba player. He received the Master of Musical Arts diploma, specialization Tuba, at the Ghent conservatory, as well as the First Prize in Music Theory. At the moment, he works at the Academy for Musical, Dramatic and Dance Arts Harelbeke.
Tim Van Thuyne (°1994) studied oboe and cor anglais at the Academy for Musical, Dramatic and Dance Arts Harelbeke under the supervision of Yf Bourry. At the moment, he combines a Master education of Musicology at the Catholic University of Leuven with a specialization in oboe at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles (in Eric Speller's class). Tim received prizes in different national competitions, such as Belfius Classics and the Sonatina competition for soloists.