Yesterday, we enjoyed our second concert of the tour performing for the Moffat Music Society. We had spent the morning travelling up from Dundee after an evening spent in our kind host’s indoor swimming pool! The drive was very enjoyable as we journeyed through the beautiful Scottish countryside singing along to a couple of Broadway musicals. Upon arriving in Moffat, we enjoyed a late lunch at Cafe Ariete along with a game of cards before heading over to meet Katharine who managed to summon five music stands from far corners of Moffat to accommodate our short, productive rehearsal.
The Old Well Theatre was a delightful venue for our concert with its tiered seating and friendly floor lamps that glowed in the corner of the stage. The audience made us immediately feel at ease with chuckles at our introductions and hearty applause that eventually drew an encore of the first of Malcolm Arnold’s “Three Shanties” from us.
We are now packed and prepared for our final concert in this short tour in West Kilbride this evening where we look forward to many of our friends and family joining us in the audience.
Hello! We are the Stroud-Zhang Duo and we are very excited to be touring around the north of Scotland for the next few days!
Our first concert is in beautiful the Isle of Skye tonight. Yesterday we were travelling from London, so it a 12-hour trip up to Skye. We made our way to Gatwick, to catch the 13:30 flight up to Inverness. Our descent into Inverness was absolutely beautiful, with very dramatic and scenic landscapes.
We then had a couple of hours to explore a little bit of Inverness and the weather was absolutely beautiful, but very cold! Then we hopped on the CityLink at 17:45 for the final three-hour journey up to Skye. It was a shame it was dark outside on the bus, as I can imagine the landscape was unbelievable.
We finally arrived in Portree at around 21:00, where we were met by our wonderful host Angus. We arrived at his beautiful home, where he had prepared a very delicious dinner and dessert for us!
We’re looking forward to exploring more of Skye today. We are very excited for the concert tonight, and look forward to seeing you there!
Hi there, we are Lumas Winds, and we’re very excited to be embarking on our very first tour of Scotland! We thought we’d give you a quick wrap up of our time so far:
We began our visit to Scotland on the 15th of February, travelling up together by train after a concert for the Ilkley Concert Club – we then spent 5 days rehearsing intensely for the tour, alongside preparing for other engagements like our residency at Aldeburgh as Britten Pears Young Artists in mid-March. Highlights of this residency included a large amount of game playing, from card games to FIFA and LEGO Harry Potter! And a lovely visit to Balmoral care home in Giffnock where we performed a mix of jazzy pieces and easy-listeners to the residents.
After our residency at Chris’ house, we packed up the Honda Jazz, departed from our base in Glasgow and arrived at our first tour destination – Dundee. We began the day running a workshop with wind players from schools across Dundee, where we discussed all things from technique to finding motivation to practice and specific challenges that we’ve encountered as an ensemble. We also focused on a piece that the students had been preparing – Holst’s second Suite in F Major – paying attention to dynamic variation, blending and phrasing, alongside instructing and practicing how to lead the beginning of the piece.
After a delicious lunch at The Bach, a local cafe, we arrived at the Steeple Church, a gorgeous newly-renovated church with a lovely warm acoustic for a brief rehearsal before the evening concert.We went for our pre-concert meal at The Gidi Grill, an Afro-Caribbean restaurant, with the concert secretary of the music society, David Robb – it was great to put a face to the name of someone we’d been in contact for almost a year and a half leading up to the concert!
The concert was lovely – the audience so warm and welcoming to us, and we enjoyed the performance immensely. After hanging around for a chat with some of the audience members, we returned to the home of our lovely hosts across the Firth of Tay in Wormit for a well deserved glass of wine, and tomorrow we set off for a 2hr drive to Moffat for our second concert!
We’re setting off early, back west to Dunoon from Linlithgow today! It was such a pleasure to play to and meet many of the locals. Thank you to those who hosted us and welcomed us into your lovely homes!
We played at Linlithgow Primary School’s quaint music hall with a wonderful acoustic. Having been fed some scrumptious homemade soup and gorgeous meringues we were definitely fuelled for the performance! Only hiccup was that Kasia had left her suitcase on stage right for the duration of the concert, distracted while trying to fight off actual hiccups….
As the tour comes to a close we are feeling sad to leave Scotland and to see it so briefly. We’ve been welcomed so generously by the communities and would love to see more of this beautiful country in the future!
We had an amazing time at the Isle of Bute yesterday and enjoyed performing to a lovely and warm audience. We fell in love with the island from the first sight and were sad that we didn’t get to see more than a tiny sliver of it – we will definitely have to come again and explore! Our concert was at the beautiful Trinity Church right by the sea front. We have been told that only a few years ago the concerts had an audience of about 30 people, but last night we played to over a hundred, which with only around 5000 people on the entire island is pretty impressive.
We are on the road again after a day in Bute, taking ferries and country trains throughout this tour which is a quite a different travel experience to what we’re accustomed to in London. We are taking in all the sights and are being reminded that people’s lives outside London move at a different pace and we find ourselves tuning into it as well. It’s lovely to stay next to the sea, to breathe in different air, and to see and experience different towns.
Now, we’re on the way to Linlithgow for tonight’s concert. Looking forward to visiting two more places!