What a great trip!
Music, culture and friends were all part of the weekend in Albert, France as the band represented the city of Birmingham alongside the Lord Mayor and other UK delegates.
The highlight of the trip was the signing of a Friendship Charter which was followed by our performance in the Theatre du Jeu de Paume. The venue was fantastic and the band played a first half of classic pieces by English and French composers and a second half of light entertainment. An enthusiastic audience gave the band a standing ovation which was a great reward for the band’s hard work.
You can watch our performance of the opening number Death or Glory below. The whole concert can be viewed here.
Our second day in Albert was filled with short performances around the town, including outside the Basilica and in the market square. We visited the hospital where we saw the ‘Birmingham Pavillion’, named in recognition of the support Birmingham offered to rebuild the town after the First World War.
A short concert at the residential home in Albert was a very humbling experience and rounded off the whole weekend.
A huge thank you to our wonderful hosts in France who made us feel very welcome.
As we left Albert to return to Birmingham we made sure to pay our respects at a British cemetery and remember the reasons for the commemorative occasion.
On the long coach journey and in between the more formal proceedings there was plenty of time for fun, laughs and friendship (and the chance to get acquainted with French wine…).