Blankenberge and Oberursel 2013

NEHASB on tour

In October 2013 the North East Hampshire Area Schools Brass Bands undertook their twelfth European tour. This time the destinations were Blankenberge on the coast of Belgium, followed by Oberursel in Germany.

The focus of the Belgian leg of the tour was an opportunity to lead the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. The bands had done this before in 2009 and so, many of the players were well prepared for the emotional response that would be felt by performers and audience alike. An afternoon visit to the Passchendaele museum and the Tyne Cot cemetery was an excellent preparation for the evening ceremony. As it was half term, a crowd of several hundred had gathered at the Menin Gate to watch the laying of wreaths, to observe the minute's silence and to listen to the music. Afterwards, the organisers of the event praised the members of NEHASB for their beautiful playing.

After a day on the coach, the bands arrived in Oberursel, which is the twin town of the Borough of Rushmoor where the bands are based. This is the ensembles' third trip to the town and so many old friends were looking forward to their arrival. A busy schedule had been arranged including two school concerts and a performance in a retirement home. There was also some time for the youngsters to let off steam at the swimming pool and whilst bowling. On the final evening a joint concert took place hosted by the local Frohsinn Brass Band and attended by the town's dignitaries.

The tour proved to be one of the most successful in terms of music making and the building of friendships and the members of NEHASB are looking forward to another busy year ahead.

Site & imagery © NEHASB 2014