February 16, 2020
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Each summer, eyo spends a week abroad. As well as giving the orchestra the opportunity to rehearse intensively and to perform in new environments, the annual tour is a social event: the players have a lot of fun. In recent years, eyo has toured Poland, France, Spain, Belgium, Hungary and Germany.
In August 2019, EYO enjoyed a hugely successful tour to Spain with three concerts in and around Barcelona. Please do read the full tour report orchestra member Floss Morris below.
Info about EYO TOUR 2019 for EYO players and parents can be found in the Tour FAQ’s
EYO tour 2019 began with a 24-hour coach journey from Twyford all the way to the Spanish heart of football, architecture and olive oil: Barcelona, soon to be taken over by an army of travel-sick and sleep-deprived teenagers.
After arriving at the Twenty-tu hostel and spending most of our first night asleep, morale was high and our first tour rehearsal began. Six hours later, on a giddy high from rehearsing and GCSE results, we returned and tucked into a delicious paella feast. The night took a very different turn when we somehow blundered into a free, tempestuous salsa class on the roof of the hostel. By the end of our first day not only were we 10x more equipped to perform the next day, we were also this much closer to becoming professional salsa dancers – a skill we certainly brought to life at the bar that night (the barmen were thrilled).
The following day was our first concert in Castello D’Empuries, so off we went – quite reluctantly returning to the warzone of food and litter we had left on the coach. It was certainly worth it though: the town was beautiful, and as we surged with adrenaline, audience members filed in.
Our next destination was Manresa and after a day of milling about and handing out flyers, one of which went to a woman who had come to the same concert last time EYO were in Barcelona, we ate delicious tapas and whizzed back to the church. Our playing (a special mention to our Danzón) was full of gusto – even with the addition of church bells.
The free day is quite hard to write about as most of us were doing different things: some hired scooters; others visited the Sagrada Familia, and I’m sure a handful went straight back to bed. Nevertheless, I speak for all of us when I say that our rest was well-earned and it was a pleasure to finally get out and explore Barcelona. Because there were more men wearing Speedos on the beach than there were grains of sand, when we reconvened there was unfortunately no room for our beloved Beach Olympics. Nevertheless, we had a brilliant time splashing about in the sea for the rest of the evening – one of our favourite moments of the trip.
Our last concert was arguably in the most exciting venue – Santa Maria del Mar sits in the thick of Barcelona, surrounded by picturesque cobbled streets and balconies, and as we distributed flyers to the multitude of tourists we knew that EYO would leave Barcelona with a bang. And that we did! Our last concert felt like an epic last hoorah, and when we returned to the bar that night, boy did we celebrate it (props to Zac’s Zoella tribute and Max the Melon for having quite unforgettable costumes).
As per usual the last morning was slow and painful. Energy levels were low, and coach delirium reached new heights as we resorted to gluing bits of corn to a hat and singing to it. By the time we’d reached the boat, we had lost all scraps of sanity. Coming back into London felt odd, and I’m sure I speak for most of us when saying that post-tour blues have already kicked in, but the moments we shared together are assuredly unforgettable, and I really couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to go with, including the fabulous staff. So thank-you to the staff, to Leon and of course to every single member of the orchestra that made tour so fun and inclusive: here’s to many more!