Oldham music students make a big impact in Belgium

Date published: 04 August 2022

Seventy-five of Oldham’s best and brightest musical students have completed a concert tour of Wallonia, southern Belgium, where they gave fantastic performances throughout the region.

The students toured Belgium from July 20-26 along with Oldham Music Centre staff, to show off their musical skills.

The group formed a Brass Band, a Wind Band and an Orchestra, giving joint concerts at three prestigious venues, Wavre Town Hall for the Belgian National Fête, the Collegiale Cathedral at Nivelle and the Church of St Remacle in Verviers.

All three concerts were met by enthusiastic audiences who were amazed at the level of performance the young students from Oldham produced.

Standing ovations and multiple encores were requested by the audience after each skilled performance.

However, It was not all work for the students.

They also visited chocolatiers in Brussels, the Brussels Musical Instruments Museum, and had day trips to the Caves at Han-sur-Less, the citadel at Dinant and Phantasialand for some white-knuckle rollercoaster rides.

The Oldham Music Centre staff praised the student’s behaviour and attitude throughout the whole trip, saying they were a great credit to Oldham.

Jonathan Leedale, Deputy Head of Oldham Council Music Service, said: “I was thrilled to see young people from Oldham being able to travel abroad and make us proud.

"Their performances show off the amount of skilled musicians we have coming out of Oldham Music Centre.

“This tour had been postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic so it was brilliant to see our students out in the world enjoying themselves and having these experiences.

“A big thank you from me to the students and of course the Music Centre staff who helped make this trip possible.”

The residents in Belgium were happy to have the students and were complimentary of their visit.

One resident said: “It’s wonderful that young people from the UK would come to Belgium to perform in our church.

"This is our first event since the COVD-19 pandemic and what a way to start again!

“Bravo Oldham Music Centre, you’ve shone such a positive light on your town.”

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