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Cbyo Tour of Belgium and Holland Summer 2019

Posted by robert.briscoe on the Friday, 30 August 2019

In association with:

The Flax Trust

Belfast City Council


Belgium and Holland 2019

This summer 74 members of the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra embarked on a Concert Tour to Belgium and Holland.

Whilst abroad our young people acted as first rate Ambassadors for Belfast showcasing all that is good about Northern Ireland and the wealth of talent we have.

Whilst in Belgium the Orchestra based at the Irish College in Leuven which provided first class facilities to rehearse and stay.

In addition, the College organised as a programme of activities which allowed our young people to explore their shared heritage together through learning from the Battlefields of World War 1

Our events in Brussels were staged in association with the Northern Ireland Executive Office. During a lunch time reception, the Chamber Orchestra performed a programme of Classical and Irish Traditional Music in front an appreciative audience including the British and Irish Ambassadors to Belgium and the Chief of the Hungarian Mission to the European Union.

Later that night, the full Orchestra performed to a capacity audience in the stunning Eglise Nortre Dame du Sablon. This concert, featured Soloist Ellen Quinn performing the first movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto to the delight of the crowd. This was followed by a thrilling performance of Dvorak Symphony No.9

Our second Concert, which took place in the PDS Auditorium in Leuven, was also very well received. Once again the Orchestra Members received a very warm welcome from the local Community.

One of the most moving experiences on tour was when the Brass Section had the privilege of performing as part of the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres honouring the fallen of World War 1. Performing in the beautiful acoustic under the Arches of the Memorial, along with the emotion and solemnity of the ceremony, is something that none of those performing will ever forget.

For the second half of the week, we relocated to wonderful city of Amsterdam in Holland. Whilst in Amsterdam, the Orchestra performed the final concert of the tour in the Oosterkirk, a beautiful former Church which is now a wonderful concert venue. once again we had a capacity audience in attendance who greatly enjoyed what they heard.

Amidst our concerts, there was also some time for some for much needed relaxation, ranging from a days theme park and the beach to canal cruises and even swing off the roof of a building 30 stories up!.