Only one year after Adolphe Samuel (Liège 1824–Gent 1898) became director of the school the horn teacher Norbert Herteleer (Ghent 1829–1874) was detained at the psychiatric centre of Dr Guislain. The conservatoire organised an audition, that was won by the young Liègeois Jean Deprez (Liège 1844–Ghent 1901).
Deprez had been recommended by the Liégeois horn teacher Jean-Toussaint Radoux (Liège 1825-1889) and was thus in pole position for the job. It was a clear put-up job: Samuel and Radoux were the same age and studied at the same school (as was Stenebruggen): the Liégeois obviously knew each other very well. Also, the year before, one of the first new staff appointments made by Samuel was the one of Toussaint Sauveur (Liège 1844–Ghent after 1909) as teacher of trumpet. Sauveur had been the colleague of Deprez in the season's orchestra of Spa.
On top of this, the Morceau de concours, which candidates for the job had to perform as a sight-reding test exposed everything the Liègeois horn players were good at; a slow and expressive texture, long lines and an overall sense of flexibility. It shows that the takeover by musicians from Liège, a phenomenon that was not limited with the horn, was not only and solely a matter of quality, but also one of politics.