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Tour Diary

Concert Diary
 
Despite unrelenting and often oppressive heat, strange venues and an indigestion-inducing itinerary on some days, NSW produced some excellent concerts around Lake Garda. 
 
Monday 23rd July 2006
 
"Is that an ant or is it a repeat mark?"
 
A long coach journey through heavy traffic, coupled with a rushed evening meal was not the best start for our concert in San Felice del Benaco.  We descended on the  quiet little village on the western shore of Lake Garda, and promptly took over both of its two only restaurants for a quick pre-concert meal.
 
The venue, an outdoor film theatre and performance space, was to provide some significant challenges as the acoustics were among the strangest we have encountered.  Combined with a very hot night and a swarm of flying ants, this was something of a testing occasion for the players, who worked extremely hard to produce some fine moments. 
 
There was a large and appreciative audience, who enjoyed the performance and gave some very positive comments at the end.
 

San Felice del Benaco

 
Tuesday 24th July 2006
 
"It's nearly as hot as the Albert Hall!"
 
The only indoor venue of the week was the beautiful casino in Arco, at the northern tip of the lake.  Complete with chandeliers and marble floors, the venue was a welcome contrast with the challenges of the open air venue of the previous night.  The lack of air conditioning meant that it was still incredibly hot - NSWO members found it reminicscent of the Albert Hall on July 1st, which as it turned out was not dissimilar conditions!
 
The more favourable acoustics meant the band played far more strongly and enjoyed filling the hall - more than can be said for the audience who were rather thin on the ground.  Always a challenge for an indoor venue, there were few passers-by, although a number gathered outside to hear what was happening. 
 

arco concert

 
 
Thursday 26th July 2006
 
"Now, this is more like it"
 
The band gave a stunning concert in the amphitheatre in Garda, which overlooks the lake.  A large audience quickly gathered and the concert was opened by the mayor, who presented Keiron with a special commemorative medal.
 
The programme worked very well here.  As the concert went on, more and more people came to hear - and many stayed, so by the end the auditorium was full and people were standing and sitting all around the area.  The final number, Riverdance, had many of the audience standing and clearly expecting another.  Despite not having a score, Keiron took the group at a lively pace into Finnegan's Wake, which provided a great finale. 
 
Some comments from the evening:
 
"Bellisimo" Uffiziano Manifestazioni di Garda
"Very relaxing, not too loud and bangy.  I recorded 12 minutes video on my mobile phone"  Rafael, Head Waiter at the Hotel Royal
"Even that dog liked it"  Keiron Anderson
"I liked it so much I took 527 photos"  Paul Tombs
"My best birthday present ever!!"  Jo Oldershaw
"It was so exciting that the wind chimes fell over"  Nick (percussion)
"It was refreshing to perform without my pants being too sweaty"  Keiron Anderson
"I even sold a CD!!" Sian
"It was so exciting I bought a CD for my mum" Trevor (trumpet)
 

Garda concert

 
Friday 27th July 2006
 
"Wow!!"
 
("Where's that pesky squirrel!")
 
On Friday night the weather broke.  A torrential downpour and a wind which turned the lake from flat calm to rough did not bode well for our outing to Torbole - which also happens to be wind surfing centre of the region.  Arriving at the venue, an unpromising curtain sided, leaking stage, we stood around for a bit in the mud wondering what on earth we were doing there. 
 
Starting the concert with Thunder and Lightning Polka seemed like tempting fate, but to everyone's surprise, this venue provided some really rewarding playing conditions.  Coupled with the miraculous appearance of a large audience, who had popped out for a walk between showers, the band quickly got into its stride and produced some stunning playing.
 
This concert also featured an appearance of the band's unofficial tour mascot, its very own secret squirrel, who popped up (on Trevor's head) during 'Hunt the Squirrel' in the Tomlinson suite, much to Keiron's surprise and the band's amusement. 
 

Squirrel

 
This was an exciting and satisfying concert, showing the full range of what the combined forces of NSWO and NWE band were able to produce.  The programme culminated with Sing, Sing, Sing and Les Miserables - ensuring two encores were demanded from the (by now) large audience.
 
A great way to finish the week of playing - and our hosts provided us with a welcome glass of wine and pizza to finish the evening.
 

Torbole concert

 Photos - Paul Tombs
 
 
 
 
 
Player Vacancies
If you are a woodwind, brass or percussion player we are always interested to hear from you.
 
NSWO - We are currently looking for  Percussion and Trumpet.
 
NWE - We are currently looking for players in all sections for the new term.
 
 
Interested?
Phone Margaret on 0115 9410543