With Dutch food to warm our stomachs, we were more than ready to have our first rehearsal as a 36-piece. Afterwards, some went to explore the local nightlife, (which we were all more than familiar with by the end)! However, most went to bed for a well-earned rest in preparation for our first day.
Bright and early, we travelled to Amsterdam, where we performed a lunchtime concert in a big and busy youth hostel. We gathered a large fan base, with one woman singing and dancing to our rendition of Frozen. Having had a successful first concert, we treated ourselves to a boat tour through the canals.
The next day, we visited the Anne Frank House, which was an experience, both moving and interesting. We then headed to a nearby city, Delft, where we performed at the market square. We braved the cold, wind, falling stands and ripping music to an appreciative, albeit amused audience.
Our last full day gave us the opportunity for free time in Amsterdam. We trialled the tram system, admittedly with limited success, took a number of touristy photos and strolled through the red-light district.
Feeling refreshed from the Amsterdam air, we performed our final concert to hall-full of people at a nursing home. At the end, when asking the audience for requests, one witty Dutch man replied: “Time to Say Goodbye”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in our repertoire! We headed back to the hotel, where we celebrated the end of tour with an awards evening and recalled our favourite moments before having one last night on the town.
Finally, we departed our hotel in the morning for the long trip back to Cardiff after an amazing time. We are all extremely grateful to our Tour Representative, Niamh Kelly, who said: “Organising the tour was an incredible experience and it was so fun to be able to play music in a different country with a group of such talented musicians!”
President Matthew Williams added: “Tour is always a major highlight for the band and this year was no different. It brings everyone closer together as a group which contributes to the fantastic friendly atmosphere which is one of the things I enjoy most about the society.
“Niamh did an amazing job of organising the week and I know that everyone is looking forward to next year! Roll on Tour 2016!”
For more information about the band, please get in touch: Facebook: City of Cardiff Concert Band; Twitter: @cardiffwindband; Email: email@example.com