2006 Tour - Catalunya
27th May to 3rd June 2006
Many thanks are due to Terry, Geoff, Shelagh and Howard for the photos. Thanks also to Christine Martin for taking the time to write an account of the tour.
More photos can be found on the Coral Polifonica website.
Enjoy the read!
The journey was uneventful, apart from the apparent absence of the two coaches on our arrival at Barcelona. We all sunbathed in the high temperatures that greeted us outside the Airport whilst our gallant tour organiser, Richard, sprinted around and sorted things out. We dutifully piled into Coach A and Coach B, each with its Host who counted us on and counted us off and gave us our instructions for the day in a very good-humoured and professional way. In fact, the Buntlin’s Red Coats Outstanding Performance Awards go to Terry Mitchell and Christine Murphy. We, in Coach B, were speculating as to how the coaches were allocated. We realised that 'A' stood for Allan and the Also-rans and B simply stood for Best. (Actually, to make my life easy, the coach lists were recycled from the tour to Ireland! Richard)
The Hotel Victoria in Santa Margarida had been significantly upgraded since our last visit, with the noteworthy addition of an external lift. The whole resort was really pleasant now that all the building-work along the front was completed. No longer did you walk into Roses to the accompaniment of pneumatic drills, tripping over live cables and falling down holes as in yester-year. To cap everything, the quality of the wine served with meals was so much better!
Concert One, 28 May 2006
Acords Guitar Group
The concerts allowed us to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. Merce and Cor Preludi were with us at Bescano and Girona and the Girona Banda Band, whose conductor came over to see us in England, were also with us in Girona. One new group was the impressive Acords guitar group at Bescano who gave an enjoyable performance. I was struck by the fact that they played without any music and that in some pieces they treated their instruments as percussion (tapping not plucking). Perhaps this is a way forward for our Band…?!
Children from Bescano
Concert Two, 29 May 2006
Roses, Placa de Catalunya
The power of Music became evident on two occasions. The first was the noteworthy time when were playing in the square in Roses. We had spent some time setting up, having walked from the hotel after dinner. Allan picked up his wand and we played our first chord of B flat in order to tune and the heavens immediately opened. Being British we hid under trees and eventually returned to play to a very appreciative audience. The Incorporated Association of Witch-doctors’ First Prize for Rain Magic goes to The Werneth Concert Band and its wizard, Allan Jones.
The second, more serious, manifestation of the power of music is the electrifying effect of playing El Segadors to a Catalan Audience. They leap to their feet and stand to attention. The title means ‘The Reapers’ and commemorates a revolt by the workers against Spanish oppressors. The words apparently do include sentiments like ‘death to Spaniards’, so choose your audience carefully! In fact, since our return, the Times reported that 73.9% of Catalonian voters have approved greater autonomy for Catalonia in the recent referendum.
Third Concert, 30 May 2006
Banyoles, Teatre Municipal
WCB with Orff de l'Escola Municipal de Musica de Banyoles
Our most unusual partners were the Orff de l’Escola Municipal de Musica de Banyoles, a glockenspiel orchestra. They were well trained and made a very pleasant sound.
Pica Pica - Yum Yum
Girona Banda Band
I thought you said this music was in order?
The bar must be open...
Concert Four, 1 June 2006
Girona, Auditorio (Foyer, they were still finishing the auditorium)
WCB with Cor Preludi
"...and I won the boules, and I won the footy, and I won the mini-golf" Nick wins the sychronised reading competition
Port Lligat (and who's that under the tree?)
Teatro Jardi, Figueres
WCB with Coral Polifonica
The last group we joined up with were the Coral Polyphonica de Figures. The concert took place in the delightful Art Nouveau Theatre and we had a good audience. The rehearsal had been slightly difficult as there were problems with coping with joint items and the choir’s programme seemed a little heavy. What a surprise it was to find ourselves afterwards with about 100 other highly extravert and friendly Catalans eating splendid snacks and consuming vast quantities of wine, all of us singing our heads off. No one wanted to go home and any suggestion that we should do so met with open rebellion, including booing down our leaders. Threats of having to walk back to our hotel brought us to heel, but what a wonderful finish.
We had been entertained by other groups in a similar way; the hospitality is second to none. We had also sung for our supper in Girona but that last night in Figures was the most memorable. We owe Julie Parker a vote of thanks for training us so that we could actually sing something recognisable and effective. She receives the Julie Andrews Sound of Music Award jointly with Ged Marciniak who led a memorable and personalised sing-song in Coach A.
There are two further awards:
The Pickford’s Smooth Operators Award for safe removals goes jointly to Alan Cottrill and Roy Nuttall with our grateful thanks.
The Silver Goblet jointly awarded by Linguaphone and the Board of International Relations is presented to El Presidente, alias John Glynn, for his multilingual compering and good humoured shepherding of us all.
We are indebted to Richard Morris and his colleagues who have worked behind the scenes to make the tour so successful and enjoyable.
Finally, our thanks to Allan Jones for his inspired and widely ranging leadership in many fields but primarily the musical one.
Here’s to the next tour!
|3||On The Mall||25||Barcelona|
|5||March From the Jazz Suite||27||Odyssey|
|6||Strike Up The Band||28||When the Stars Begin to Fall|
|7||Encanto||29||When the Saints|
|8||Spirit of Catalonia||30||Serenade|
|9||Thames Journey||31||Waltz From the Jazz Suite|
|12||Concert Prelude||34||Chorale and Rockout|
|13||Chorale and Shaker Dance||35||Pavane in Blue|
|14||Prelude Siciliano and Rondo||36||YMCA|
|15||Sinatra in Concert||37||Slavonic Dances|
|16||Symphonic Beatles||38||Els Segadors|
|17||Dances With Wolves||39||Boig Per Tu|
|18||John Williams Symphonic Soundtrack||40||Ave Verum Corpus|
|19||Riverdance (Finale)||41||Andrew Lloyd Webber|
|20||Latin Celebration||42||Be Still My Soul|
|21||Folk Dances||43||Speed Your Journey|
|22||Frolic for Trombones|