Wessex Youth Orchestra, a lively bunch of good-humoured and enthusiastic young people from Dorset, have recently returned from an exciting 7-day tour (22nd– 28th August) to The Black Forest.
Touring is no new thing for this successful regional youth orchestra who frequently embark on UK and International concert tours. Having travelled with us on numerous occasions, this year’s tour called for the picturesque landscapes of traditional, rural Germany with its quaint towns, stunning lakes and evergreen forests.
The orchestra members packed up their brass and fiddles and hit the road, travelling through France, Belgium and Luxembourg, before arriving in Oberkirch in The Black Forest. The group settled in for an early night before the next morning’s full-scale orchestral rehearsal on the hotel terrace. Graced with glorious morning sunshine and applauding hotel guests, the tour got off to a great start. The group were particularly amused by their unexpected audience member, the hotel’s Jack Russell, who weaved in and out of ankles and cellos, completely oblivious to their beautiful orchestral sounds!
After warming up those fingertips, the orchestra set off for their first concert in the pleasant Spa Park in Bad Krozingen. Following a traditional Schnitzel lunch in the park café (‘’when in Germany…’’), the orchestra set up on the large open-air stage for their first concert. At that moment, an unfortunate black cloud made its untimely entrance but ‘the band played on’ under their stage shelter and a resilient rain-coated audience braved the downpour.
Although the elements were not always on their side, it was not enough to break these youngsters’ high spirits; unrelenting enthusiasm reigned on as the Black Forest’s black clouds rained on!
The following day, the group headed to the Dorotheenhütte in Wolfach to witness a fascinating display of glassblowing, before setting up for an evening concert in the town centre. Lifted by an excellent acoustic, their performance at St Lawrence Church Hall entailed a programme of beautiful music from all over Europe, culminating with a stunning rendition of Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. As well as a standing ovation and a great deal of attention from local newspaper reporters, the orchestra members all received a free ice-cream from the local ice-cream parlour as a ‘thank you’ from the town.
When on tour, the orchestra also revisited a concert venue from their previous tour in 2009. Following a morning boat trip on the glistening lake Titisee, the orchestra finally got the sunshine performance they were hoping for as they played on the park bandstand overlooking the lake. With a park-full of audience members, Titisee provided the perfect setting to round off a successful concert series.
After a final day of rollercoasters and an impromptu ‘Cabaret Evening’, the tour drew to a close and the orchestra were homeward bound.
The Wessex Youth Orchestra plan to tour again with us next year; this time the rolling hills of Switzerland are calling. We look forward to hearing from you soon to plan the next adventure!