Berkshire county youth music ensembles outstanding tour to China
4 August 2016
A large cohort of over 150 young musicians from Berkshire Maestros’ county groups has just returned from a hugely successful concert tour to China. Members of Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Youth Choir and Berkshire Youth Guitar Orchestra visited China for nine days at the end of July 2016, performing concerts in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai to capacity audiences. The students, all aged between 14 and 19, were accompanied by a team of dedicated and enthusiastic teachers from Berkshire Maestros.
Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra’s performances included such seminal works as Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and a selection of traditional English music, whilst Berkshire Youth Choir took an all British programme, introducing the Chinese audiences to a wide range of traditional styles. Berkshire Youth Guitar Orchestra was an unusual feast for local music lovers and they delighted audiences with their eclectic mix of traditional and modern guitar repertoire leading to several standing ovations.
Adam West, a member of Berkshire Youth Choir, said:
“The China tour was incredible. It gave us all an amazing insight into a very different culture; the food, the language, the surroundings. We had an unparalleled opportunity to perform in some unbelievable venues and were also able to absorb the beauty of two massive cities by night. It was an amazing experience to perform in such impressive concert venues that are on a different scale that we just don’t have here in the UK.
Sightseeing highlights for me included visiting the Great Wall of China and seeing Shanghai from above up the Jin Mao Tower. We also enjoyed a visit to the Forbidden City and our flashmob of ‘A Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ in the local markets was such fun. This epic adventure was a truly special experience, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Berkshire Maestros is immensely grateful to the Payne-Gallwey Charitable Trust, the Cardy Beaver Foundation and the Gordon Palmer Memorial Trust for providing financial grants to support the students’ fundraising.
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BYSO in Shanghai, conducted by Jonathan Burnett
BYGO in Shanghai, conducted by Steve Christmas
BYC in Shanghai, conducted by Chris Hann