On the road across Europe – Hampshire Music Service ensembles celebrate successful tours

Hampshire’s youth music ensembles are back in rehearsal after a busy and exciting programme of tours both home and abroad this summer

Oct 7 2019

Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, said:
“Throughout most of the year, these dedicated young musicians devote so much of their free time to practising and entertaining thousands of people at events throughout Hampshire, so it is particularly heartening to see them spreading their wings and experiencing a taste of the life of a touring musician. Representing Hampshire and our wonderful Music Service abroad has clearly been both educational and enjoyable, and an ideal opportunity to form close bonds as an ensemble.”
The self-funded summer tours took Hampshire County Youth Band (HCYB) to the south of France, the Gosport and Fareham Youth Orchestra (GFYO) to Italy, the Basingstoke Area Youth Orchestra (BAYO) to Germany and the Hamble Area Youth Band (HAYB) toured Cornwall.
Alex Provost, a trumpet and tuba player with both GFYO and HCYB, took part in two of the tours, starting in France. He said:
“We played six concerts to packed audiences, including a joint concert with the Dutch String Orchestra. The band also travelled to picturesque Mediterranean towns such as Nîmes, Arles and Avignon for cultural experiences and visits to landmarks such as the Pope’s Palace and the Pont Du Gard, as well as a Mediterranean boat tour. The 40 degree weather also ensured plenty of ice cream and crepes were consumed!”
Elizabeth Addis, a cornet player with the HAYB, was part of the band’s tour of Cornwall. She said:
“It was a great way to finish the academic year, showcasing our hard work to public audiences in fantastic locations in Falmouth and Truro. Having the opportunity to see beautiful seaside views and to visit the majestic Truro cathedral, then to play in the unique acoustic bandstands in the open air was a great opportunity. It was also so much fun to stay on a university campus and go bowling together.”
The BAYO tour to Germany included concerts at a range of spectacular venues such as the Bad Kreuznach Spa Hall. Ensemble members were able to relax, see the sights of Luxembourg City on a day trip and explored the Siegfried Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum.
Northern Italy with the Gosport and Fareham Orchestra took in Venice and Verona, as well as concerts by Lake Garda and the mansion of Villa Ducale.
Music ensembles are just one aspect of the work of Hampshire Music Service (HMS), part of Hampshire County Council. One of the largest music services in the country, HMS works with Hampshire schools and colleges to promote high quality learning opportunities, at school and beyond the school day, through:
• small group instrumental and vocal tuition in schools;
• class music teaching;
• Instrument hire scheme;
• area and county youth ensembles;
• support for teaching staff;
• workshops and large-scale projects;
• the Listen2Me a programme for all primary school children.