PAZNAUN PEOPLE: SEPPI KURZ, TROMBONIST

He plays the trombone. His brass band music shapes Paznaun’s soundtrack. Trisanna in conversation with tourism professional Seppi Kurz.

 

Name
Seppi Kurz

Age
32, born in Zams

Place of residence
Galtür – as spokesman for the Galtür brass band, and tourism professional at the Paznaun-Ischgl tourism association

Family
Married to Angelika since 2014

How did you come to be spokesman for the Galtür brass band at such a young age?
I’ve been an active member of the Galtür brass band since 1999 and was really interested in it from a very young age. I had already been the youth officer for more than 10 years and acting spokesperson. After our long-standing leader stepped down from this position, I put myself forward for election, as I wanted to take on a bigger challenge. My fellow musicians put their trust in me, and I was chosen as spokesman in November 2017.

What role does the band play in Galtür village life?
A very important one. Galtür has around 780 inhabitants, and Galtür’s brass band currently has 65 active members. That’s around 8% of Galtur’s total population. That shows the social as well as musical significance of the band in our village. In addition, the band is the most active club in Galtür, if you measure it on the number of rehearsals and performances (more than 100 a year).

What’s the situation with finding young musical talent in Galtür?
At the moment, it’s very good. We currently have more than 10 children in training. It’s important not to underestimate it, though, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. We visit the children already in the primary school to get them interested in learning an instrument. The training then lasts 3 to 4 years until they can join the Galtür brass band. There’s also a club youth orchestra to keep the fun of making music, and build on it, too.

How did the Galtür Syndikat, which you’re also a member of, come about?
For the season’s opening in December 2003, an ensemble was put together at short notice, where I played the trumpet. Then four musicians continued with this group. At the beginning of 2006, I came across what was now the “Galtür Syndikat”. As they needed a trombonist, I changed instruments. We’ve grown to seven musicians now – and we’re all also members of the Galtür brass band.

What’s the situation with finding young musical talent in Galtür?
At the moment, it’s very good. We currently have more than 10 children in training. It’s important not to underestimate it, though, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. We visit the children already in the primary school to get them interested in learning an instrument. The training then lasts 3 to 4 years until they can join the Galtür brass band. There’s also a club youth orchestra to keep the fun of making music, and build on it, too.

How did the Galtür Syndikat, which you’re also a member of, come about?
For the season’s opening in December 2003, an ensemble was put together at short notice, where I played the trumpet. Then four musicians continued with this group. At the beginning of 2006, I came across what was now the “Galtür Syndikat”. As they needed a trombonist, I changed instruments. We’ve grown to seven musicians now – and we’re all also members of the Galtür brass band.

If Galtür were an animal, what would it be?
An ibex

With what drink do you toast to a successful project?
Galtirer Enzner (original Galtür gentian schnapps)

What’s your favourite colour in winter?
White

The Galtür ski area in one word?
Perfect

Your favourite language during the season?
The Galtür dialect

Where do you find a moment of peace?
Playing music

What’s your favourite song with a Paznaun connection?
“These are the days” by Van Morrison – we played this song with the Galtür Syndikat together with Willi Resetarits & Stubnblues at the Genusstagen 2008 festival in Galtür

The most important accessory in winter?
a gscheidi Koppa – a good hat

Your favourite time of day?
20.30 – that’s when band practice normally begins

The most important changes of the past ten years?
Personally, when I met my wife Angelika in 2008. Socially, when I was given the honour of being elected spokesman of the Galtür brass band. And the most exciting: playing music with the Galtür Syndikat on the summit of Piz Buin at 3 312m on the occasion of the “150th Anniversary of the First Ascent” in 2015.