Back from the Isle of Man (Windy Isle)
Well - what a tour! As usual (for these summer tours) it was a hectic combination of sight-seeing, rehearsals, performance and the occasional late night relaxation. Indeed - and again as ever - the weather was brilliant. This was a bit of a worry after the previous tours to France/Germany and Austria which were very hot and sunny. We needn’t have worried as the weather was organised to perfection.
After a very early start at stupid o’clock in the morning (traditional) we sailed from Liverpool on the Seacat ferry. Like a mill pond - don’t know what all the fuss was about. Luckily for those of us with large instruments the hotel was a short walk from the ferry terminal in Douglas and we had Jem and his ‘burger van’ to ferry kit around.
In brief the itinery was:-
- Thurs 24th July. Rehearse. Outing to the Calf of Man and Craig. Performance at the Ballerkermeen High School together with the Isle of Man Wind Orchestra and Manx Saxophone Ensemble
- Friday 25th July. Trip to Peel. BBQ on beach. Rehearse. Concert in Peel Cathedral with the
- Saturday 26th July. Southern Agricultural Show near Castletown. Brass band and Swing Band perform. Return to Douglas on steam train. Take Manx Electric Railway to Laxey. Visit wheel / Snaefell on mountain railway. Farewell meal.
- Sunday 27th July. Performance at Villa Marina Gardens in Douglas. Ferry back ‘across’ and thence back home.
We all had a great time and made many new friends whilst over there. This was only possible with a lot of hard work, both here at home and also those in the Isle of Man - not just ex-HUMS-pats like Jem (& family) but also the Manx Sax Ensemble and luminaries like Paul Dunderdale and the Isle of Man Arts Council, Ballerkermeen High School and many, many more.
These trips are now very much part of the annual calendar for the music school and are organised by HUMSA for the benefit of everyone. They are very social affairs and good opportunities to get to know others who you may know by sight across the school or even orchestra or band but never have the time to speak to (yes, it is really that busy on Saturday mornings!).
Next year (2009) we’re off to Norfolk.