2002 Tour - CataluñiaAt the start of the long Bank Holiday weekend in June, the band gathered from various parts of Manchester (and beyond) for the trip to the Cataluñia region of Spain. Instruments of all shapes and sizes were safely stowed onto the Iberian Airlines flight at Manchester Airport. In no time at all, we were on the ground in Barcelona collecting all the baggage and stowing it on the coaches for the 2 hour coach trip to the Costa Brava seaside town of Santa Margarida.
Close to the coast is the ancient village of Castello D’Empuries with its impressive cathedral. It was here that we shared our first concert of the tour with a local choir - Polifonica Joia D’Alella.
The highlight of the evening was the combined choir/band performance of ‘Sant Jordi Triomfant’followed by the national Catalunya hymn ‘Els Segadors’. Choir, band and supporters joined together afterwards for celebration drinks.
Santa Margarida is joined to Roses by an attractive seaside promenade running round the Bay of Roses. The central square forms an ideal venue for an open air concert and the band set up here on a warm summer’s evening. Very soon an enthusiastic audience had gathered and particularly appreciated the Beatles’ medley.
The provincial city of Girona occupies a strategic location controlling access from the Eastern Pyrenees into Spain. From the magnificent gothic cathedral built into the central fortifications, there is a clear view over the river and the rest of the city. The cathedral was also the location of the next concert where the band was joined by its friends from the Cor Preludi and also the Coral del GEiEG.
The band’s final piece entitled ‘Amparita Roca’ brought everyone to their feet. Even the elements were impressed and the band members just made it to the 2 coaches before a tremendous thunderstorm broke!
The storm continued for 24 hours and the band arrived at its next concert location in Bescano to see flood water in all directions. The mayor broke off from flood relief work to give a civic welcome to the Werneth Concert Band. Sausages and bootlaces (for the British Army) are manufactured locally and these featured in the gift pack that the municipalty had compiled for each band member. A local choir - Coral Josep Ruhi - joined the Band and Cor Preludi to complete the concert programme.
The performance ended with combined band and choirs singing ‘Els Segadors’. Copious refreshments were provided afterwards in a very relaxed atmosphere with free exchange of Spanish and British songs!
Off to Barcelona for the final concert of the tour in the famous gothic church of Santa Maria Del Mar.
The first part of the concert was given by Coral del Baix Llobregatil’Anoia. The Werneth Concert Band performed the second half and the programme naturally included Freddie Mercury’s ‘Barcelona’. ‘Amparita Roca’ brought a very successful tour to a rousing finale.
The evening ended with a delightful open air party with the choir in a square just off ‘Las Ramblas’. After the activities of the week, there was time to savour the attractions of the vibrant city of Barcelona ending with the display at the Singing Fountains as night fell. The following morning saw an early departure to Barcelona airport for the return to a familiar Manchester that the band had left just a week before.