Trentham Brass Band, a high-spirited 35-piece band from Stoke-on-Trent, have recently returned from a Four Country Tour to Holland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. With a total of five concerts scheduled in four countries over the course of three days, this band certainly don’t hang around!
After a leisurely breakfast, this good-humoured and playful bunch started the tour as they meant to go on (with an element of fun and games!), warming up for their first performance at Drielandenpunt with an impromptu ‘flashmob’. Situated at the point where Holland, Germany and Belgium meet, the 35 piece band spread out amongst all three countries and began jamming; in effect, the band played in three countries at once!
The concert that followed was informal one, allowing the band to settle in nicely. Coupled with glorious Sunday morning sunshine and scenic surroundings, this performance attracted a large audience of approximately 200 who gathered round to enjoy the band’s beautiful brass sounds. Post-concert, the band were showered with praise which was a well-timed boost of confidence to start the tour!
The next concert of the day took place at the Galerie Leopold II in the beautiful Belgian town of Spa. Thrilled with the afternoon performance, the band conductor, Mike Caveney, commented: ‘It was a really good venue with an appreciative audience’. With two concerts in the bag, the band headed back to the hotel for a well-deserved pint.
The following day, the band headed off bright and early for another two-concert day, in two different countries. First stop was Luxembourg’s central square where a day of sunshine and showers forced a large and appreciative audience to continuously swap umbrellas for sunglasses and vice versa throughout the performance. Another great performance to add to the list, the Trentham Brass Band were left beaming before packing up instruments and hitting the road again.
The band then travelled to Germany’s oldest city, Trier, to perform in the charming ‘Brunnenhof’ courtyard, set against the backdrop of the famous Roman ‘Porta Nigra’. Amongst other items, the band amused the German audience with a rendition of ‘In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus’, a well-known song in the ‘oompah’ tradition. The performance as a whole attracted tapping feet and smiling faces. The band were elated after another successful day of concerts and retired to the hotel for a relaxing evening and a much-appreciated 5-star meal.
After a leisurely morning spent exploring the German city of Aachen, including shopping for souvenirs and visiting Aachen’s historical sites, the band gave its final concert in Holland on the main square in Maastricht. With that performance completed, the band had successfully achieved its goal of performing in four different countries, plus playing in three of them all at the same time!
On returning to the hotel, the band did one final ‘flashmob’ in the hotel garden which so impressed the hotel manager that the band was rewarded with a round of free drinks. By chance, it was the band conductor’s birthday, so the hotel kindly provided a cake at the evening meal. Celebrations all round!
When asked what the highlight of the tour was, Mr. Caveney said: ‘I couldn’t possibly single one out, there were so many!’ That’s the sign of a good tour, we say!
Overjoyed with the success of the tour, we were thrilled to receive such positive feedback from Mr. Caveney on his return with the band: ‘A complete five star package…absolutely brilliant from start to finish’.
Trentham Brass Band hope to tour again in 2017. We look forward to helping them plan another exciting, jam-packed tour!