Trip 2012 ...and what a great trip it was!
I think that perfectly sums up the view of everyone who took part in last year's visit to Cours La Ville.
We were delighted that the Winslow Concert Band were able to join us and sample the real twinning experience for the first time.As reported below, the band were able to play a full part in the programme and were received with great enthusiasm after some memorable performances.
The centrepiece of our trip to Cours La Ville this year was a big-band concert to lift the roof as we were accompanied for the first time by members of the Winslow Concert Band and their families. As always, we were treated to the most generous official and personal hospitality and a well organised programme of events and visits. The band, who were also hosted by local families, gave three performances during the trip and rehearsed with their local counterparts, Harmonie de Thizy.
They played at the official dinner and, next morning, outdoors at the centre of the Saturday market alongside the town hall.Then, joining forces with Harmonie de Thizy, they gave a private concert for us and our host families in a joint performance that brought the house down and gained a standing ovation from the 200-strong audience.
Never a dull moment!
The five day event began with a reception in the public hall for us and our hosts and included a visit to Clermont-Ferrand in the volcanic centre of the Auvergne area. Unfortunately we weren’t able to go up to the top of the volcano as extreme bad weather (yes, they have it there, too) had wrecked the train link and made it impossible to access! But with a tour of the town centre and a visit to a famous knife factory, we filled an interesting and enjoyable day.
Our programme also included a reception by the Mayor in the Council Chamber, the traditional judo competition, a guided tour of Cours La Ville, and a ceremony at the war memorial. The official dinner and dance saw a change of venue, taking place at the very modern Halle des Fetes in La Ville, a spacious centre with excellent acoustics. This also provided the perfect venue for the band concert with Harmony de Thizy which brought the whole visit to a fitting conclusion. There was never a dull moment! But, in between, time to relax with hosts, enjoy the local food and wine, renew old friendships and build new ones. And now, filled with pleasant memories, we can start planning for next May!
Many members of the band have told us how, after being a little unsure at the beginning of the trip, they had a tremendous time and can’t wait to get together again with their new friends.
All of which reinforces what we have experienced over the years - the generous hospitality and warm friendship of our hosts, and the people of Cours La Ville, who pulled out all the stops and treated us to a varied and well organised programme.
It was a memorable visit and made even more so by being able to form new relationships between Winslow Concert Band and our friends in Cours La Ville.
We are all looking forward to some more exciting music in May!