The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Orchestra & Jazz Band Tour

Published by Churcher's College on Monday 25th of September 2023

Having been scuppered two years ago, in an attempt to tour Lake Garda by COVID, the Music Department gamely set off again this year to create another magical tour. The week consisted of splendid music set against beautiful Italian sunsets, adrenalin pumping theme park rides, relaxing boat trips and, of course, staggering views of Lake Garda.

After a typical early morning start, we reached our accommodation, the Hotel San Zeno. The hotel had excellent views of the lake, which on the first evening was lit up by a spectacular thunderstorm, and allowed us to rehearse our tour repertoire which was thoroughly enjoyed by the other guests of the hotel, as well as by the horses in the field across the road.

The first full day saw us travel to Gardaland- the largest theme park in Italy- where the adrenalin seekers, very much including the teachers, were well catered for. Having calmed down from the excitement of the theme park, we performed our first concert, in a picturesque lakeside location in Castelletto, to a huge audience who enjoyed the variety of the repertoire from both ensembles. The orchestra, led by Georgia Cole, covered all bases, from classical highlights such as Vaughan Williams’ “Seventeen Come Sunday,” to the film music of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The following morning, we were treated to a lie in, no doubt enjoyed greatly by staff and students alike, and an enjoyable morning around the hotel pool before we headed to Malcesine for some lunch and exploration time. After this we took a boat trip across the vast lake, admiring the sheer beauty of the location, before travelling to our second concert in Sirmione. This was an equally beautiful location, and not deterred by the mosquitos, both the Orchestra and Jazz Band put on quite the show for the audience.

Another thrilling day followed, as we travelled en masse to the Caneva waterpark, where the thrill seekers, especially Mrs Purchase, enjoyed the intensity of the various waterslides. The final concert followed that evening in the town square of Pastrengo and was a roaring success. Both ensembles were welcomed to the town by the Mayor and were very well received by the local crowd. The Jazz Band, led by Ollie Millington, performed a wide range of pieces, with singers Clara and Fin as well as some band classics, such as Hawaii Five-0 and The Blues Brothers Revue.

However, that was not quite the end, as before our flight home we travelled to Venice. All were in awe of the staggering architecture, and we were fortunate enough to be able to take a Gondola ride through the canals, which will be a memory cherished by everyone for years to come.

It was a wonderful week of music and adventure, and special thanks must go to the music teachers involved - Mrs Purchase, Mr Cree, and Miss Millar - for making it so special. Dr Whittle ably filled Mr James’ shoes coming on his first tour, and Mr Crossman’s van driving exploits must be mentioned, as without him the Orchestra and Jazz Band would have had no instruments to play! The tour was enjoyed unanimously and will have left those lucky enough to still be here in two years' time, very excited for the next one.

Orchestra & Jazz Band Tour - Photo 1Orchestra & Jazz Band Tour - Photo 2Orchestra & Jazz Band Tour - Photo 3
Windlesham House rectangular 18 Oct 2023
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