August 14, 2019
EYO’s 60th anniversary celebrations ended with a bang on Saturday June 29th when a combined orchestra of 170 present... Read more
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 2018, EYO enjoyed a hugely successful tour to Belgium with three concerts in Bruges, Antwerp and Mechelen. Please do read the full report of the 2018 tour to Budapest by orchestra member Sorcha Gorman below.
Info about EYO TOUR 2018 for EYO players and parents can be found in the Tour FAQ’s
EYO TOUR 2018 – Belgium
Belgium, the home of waffles, chocolates and beer and the destination of the infamous EYO tour of 2018. The coach journey was notably shorter than last year, but the chosen transportation of the Channel Tunnel provoked some rather bewildered debate about a coach travelling on a train underwater. After arriving at our accommodation and having a quick dinner, we were all eager to get to sleep (!) in anticipation of what the week had in store for us.
The first concert took place in the Church of our Lady in the picturesque town of Aarschot, a place perhaps a little off the beaten track for many tourists/parents. The atmosphere of this concert was particularly notable as the audience, comprised mainly of locals, really took a delight in the music and were particularly blown awayby Grondahl’s Trombone Concerto.
Adorned with cobbled streets and charming old churches, Antwerp was certainly teeming with life when we arrived for our second concert. The concert at St Andrew’s Church was a rather peculiar one because not only were there people in attendance, but some unexpected and warmly-welcomed bats who certainly relished every note!
Our final concert took place in St. Salvator’s Cathedral in Bruges, a fairy-tale city surrounded by idyllic canals and market squares. This enthralling concert really struck a chordin showing the power of music in bringing people together; EYO later received some fan-mail from an Argentinian lady who was ‘moved to tears’ by the graceful music.
During our free time we were able to appreciate the culture and history of Belgium by wandering around the cities and admiring the architecture of the buildings and streets. Our insatiable appetites were certainly fulfilled by the local delicacies on offer of chocolate, waffles, chips and even the occasional beer! A highlight was the trip to a man-made beach in Mechelen on our free day, where we were split into teams and competed in a series of races and challenges including a wheel-barrow race and a waffle-throwing competition. Our final night was an upbeat one; karaoke put some of the hidden vocal and even dancing talents of EYO into the spotlight!
Throughout the week we were able to refine and improve our musical performances of the various pieces such as Walton’s thrilling ‘Spitfire Prelude and Fugue’ and the colourful ‘Scheherazade.’ This year’s EYO tour was the culmination of all our musical efforts throughout the year and was certainly a memorable and remarkable week, for both players, staff and audiences alike…. will next year’s tour be able to trump it?!