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We are, wij zijn, nous sommes, wir sind, Cheltenham Silver Band

And so began the dialogue for each of our concerts.  Our first tour in the band’s history has been a reminder that music truly transcends age, race, gender and background.  

Some thoughts of those who came on tour and more photos which we hope really show everyone what a fabulous time we had:

“We really enjoyed the tour, wonderful organisation from Andy and the committee and it was lovely to be able to chat to and get to know those people who are not in our sections - or band! Everyone looked after each other, helped out and we all have great memories we will be talking about for years.
In particular we think it is worth noting that it is rare that a truly multi-generational group of friends get to travel, indulge in their hobby, entertain others and enjoy time together. We have become more than friends, we are a banding family!
When is the next one….?”

"Tour was such a fun mixing of music, laughter and sightseeing, I'd happily do it again this weekend!" “Would like to say way…
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Day 4 - With grateful thanks

Highlight of the tour is probably not the best way to describe this day, but we had certainly put a great deal of thought into it.  The tour to this point had been so fantastic that we had learnt that all expectations were likely to be blown away, but still it was with a mixture of anticipation and excitement that we arrived at Tyne Cot War Cemetery.
Our oldest and youngest players (Derrick and Millie) took charge of the wreaths, and followed the players with their instruments down the small path and into the cemetery.
The band played In Flanders Fields whilst the wreaths were laid, then all the instruments were put back on the bus and we had a few minutes to look around.

Whilst that last sentence may seem a little flat, there simply are no words to describe the overwhelming emotions - the pride, the gratitude, the sadness....  
The experience was moving beyond anything we can even attempt to convey.  There were many tears and many hugs. 
From there, it was back on the coach and on to Ypr…

Day 3 - Brass bands, Boomwhackers, Bruges, Beer... and Chocolate

Still riding on the high of our amazing reception in Ostend, we were up bright and early for a departure to Nieuwpoort.  Who needs an alarm clock when you have dozens of highly vocal seagulls?  
Our stage was beach side, and even whilst we were setting up, we had a distinct feeling that we were likely to attract a crowd. And indeed we did.  It transpired that a third section band from Stoke on Trent was in the audience.  No pressure then.....

The weather was "changeable" for want of a better word.  There were distinct gusts of wind which could have proved problematic for our feature players who had music stands at the front of the performance area.
So here is a top tip for any other musical groups in a similar predicament. We used "Non Instrument Playing Junior Humans."  Simply clamp them to the base of the music stand, and they provide superb stability.  

If the initial set up is performed with care, they are able to auto install when needed in future.  

We attracted o…