Friary Guildford Brass Band are full of Zufriedenheit after a very successful trip to Germany between 4th and 8th September 2008. Based in the Baden-Würtemmberg region (near the Black Forest), the band gave concerts in Freiburg and Waldbronn to very welcoming and receptive audiences. A long journey After a Wednesday evening rehearsal and pre-tour curry, band members helped load all nooks and crannies of a Safegaurd coach with suitcases, uniforms, brass instruments, percussion and the kitchen sink before setting off on their 550 mile journey across Europe. Despite the prospect of a twelve hour journey in confined conditions with 28 other curry gannets, band members were in high spirits. A 4 am ferry crossing from Dover to Calais, stops for refreshments, and a devilish quiz helped to make the journey pass swiftly, with the band eventually arriving at the hotel in Ettlingen at around 4pm the next day. There was just enough time for a quick shower before members reconvened in the hotel bar prior to an evening meal. Strengthening ties with Freiburg On Friday the band left their hotel early to spend a day in the Guildford twin town of Freiburg, with some of the band members revisiting old haunts and others visiting the beautiful town for the first time. After an enjoyable day sightseeing, band members were treated to a short traditional programme from the Freiburger Rathausmusik Band, who were celebrating their 10th anniversary, before giving a concert themselves at the Bürgerhaus Zähringen. A varied programme from Friary Guildford Brass Band, directed by Chris King, led to rapturous applause, and after two encores the band were rewarded with a standing ovation from an appreciative audience that included members of the Freiburg-Guildford Association and the Freiburg Anglo-German club. With the conclusion of the formalities band members were able to chat with members of their twin town band and audience over some excellent local wine that was very kindly laid on by the Freiburg International Office. The gifts of two magnums of champagne and two boxes of wine were also very much appreciated! Fun at the fest Over the weekend the band were delighted to participate in the Waldbronn Kurparkfest, a two day music festival that attracts several thousand visitors every year. The band gave two concerts, one on Saturday evening and another on Sunday lunchtime, and, despite some gloomy weather on Saturday (followed by blazing sun on Sunday!) they managed to attract quite a crowd. Host band, Edelweiss, ensured that members of Friary were very well looked after, plying members with locally brewed beer and schnitzel at every opportunity. The festival itself featured many different musical groups (including an excellent concert by Edelweiss), with over 40 stands selling a wide variety of food and drink, and a superb firework display on Saturday night. On the second day, the mayor of Waldbronn presented the Friary Guildford band with a 300-year old tile from the roof of the oldest house in Waldbronn - after the showers on Saturday the band very much hoped that this didn’t leave somebody with a hole in the roof! Many thanks Trips such as these strengthen international and local relationships and improve the standard of the band, and the band would like to thank all those involved in making the trip such a success. Particular thanks go to the Freiburg-Guildford Association, the Freiburg International Office, and Edelweiss band. Where next? As well as preparing for contests at Wychavon, Folkestone and Prestatyn, Friary Guildford Brass Band will be giving a number of concerts, the first being music from “Stage and Screen” at Weyfield School on Sunday 5th October at 3pm. For more information visit www.FriaryGuildfordBand.co.uk or phone 01483 480518.