The Junior Band is now back in action after the summer break – and on our return from a highly successful tour of the Netherlands.
The band celebrates a proud tradition of International tours, every two years, and for many members these are described as being the ‘highlight’ of their time with the band.
They are a chance for our young musicians to travel and explore other countries and cultures, to gain confidence, to forge closer bonds with each other and to meet up with other European bands and musicians – and, of course, to spread the good name of Hebden Bridge.
This summer the band was based in the beautiful city of Utrecht, hitting the ground running with the very first gig within a couple of hours of landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. In Utrecht itself, the band took part in a fringe festival alongside the city’s WASBE conference (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles), with hundreds of brass bands playing in and around the city centre, even on canal barges.
It was a fantastic experience and the band members, who were given a prime spot in the city centre, and wearing bright orange ‘Hebden Bridge’ t-shirts were fantastic ambassadors for the town.
Later that day the band enjoyed a concert by the European Youth Wind Orchestra and the Simon Bilivar Youth Symphonic band from Venuzuela.
The next day was no less hectic, with a two-hour coach trip to the Southern town of Kerkrade, where the band gave a performance and was later able to join thousands of spectators in a football stadium to see some of the world’s best marching bands in action at the World Music Contest.
Other highlights included playing in a bandstand at the de-Efteling theme park, in Amsterdam’s Museumplein gardens, in the seaside resort of Zandvoort and best of all, on the final afternoon, on a ‘sloop’ barge on the canals of Utrecht. Literally hundreds of people lined the route, on bridges, in canal-side restaurants and cafes, all applauding the band as it sailed by.
The tour was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Calderdale Community Foundation, the Bearder Foundation, Mytholmroyd Gala Commitee, Sutcliffe Farrar who supplied the t-shirts and lots of hard work fund-raising by band members and their families.
Thanks also to Todmorden Morrisons for supporting our bag packs, Mytholmroyd Fire station for sharing their car wash, and to everyone who supported our jumble sale, garden party, cake stall and other events. We feel it is important that the young musicians themselves pitch in to raise funds so the tour is as accessible as possible to all