The Robert Smyth Senior Jazz Band and Soul Patrol have been on an annual one-week music tour every summer since Mrs Petersen, Head of Music, first started running these tours in 2005. This year’s tour from 1st – 7th July was to Denmark, Mrs P’s home country, as it was four years since the bands had last been there so it was a new destination to all the current band members.
After an overnight coach journey through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, we arrived in picturesque Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, on Sunday 2nd July at around 9.30 am. We performed our first concert there that same afternoon in the Cathedral Square. As this is Mrs P’s home town there were lots of spectators including Mrs P’s old music teacher amongst others. In the evening we celebrated Adam Pugh’s 17th birthday with a traditional Danish ‘kageman’ birthday cake.
Monday morning we travelled 3 ½ hours to Copenhagen on the other side of Denmark crossing the very impressive double bridge and suspension bridge across Storebælt on the way. We drove straight to Municipal House Square in Copenhagen, the largest and most central square, where we performed our second concert. In the evening we visited Tivoli Gardens, one of Copenhagen’s most famous parks with rides, restaurants and live music.
Tuesday morning was spent sight-seeing which included The Little Mermaid, the Royal Palace, a canal boat trip, and free time on Strøget, the longest pedestrian street in Scandinavia. In the afternoon we travelled ½ hour north of Copenhagen to Bakken Theme Park where we performed our third concert on the large open air stage with professional sound equipment and sound engineer. We had a very good audience there and were very well received.
Wednesday morning we drove 3 hours across Denmark again back to mainland Jutland to the city of Fredericia where we had been invited to perform at their annual Jazz Festival. We were in fact the opening act of the three-day festival and had been given the main stage to perform on with professional sound equipment and sound engineer. This fourth and final gig was the absolute highlight of the tour. We had a fantastic audience and both bands went down a storm with lots of audience members clapping and dancing along. Soul Patrol even received a standing ovation at the end of their set. We sold lots of our CDs as well, 27 in total on the tour.
After our final gig we were given complimentary food and drink by the festival organisers who also paid for half of our stay at the hostel. In the evening we got free entrance to watch other bands and had great fun watching and dancing to the rock ‘n’ roll and jive group “Jordan’s Drive”. They were an incredibly inspiring band to watch with virtuoso solos from sax, trumpet, double bass, guitar and drums, and unique presentation with the double bass player standing on this bass whilst playing it. Many of our students got a chance to talk to the band members at the end of the gig.
Thursday we had free time to explore Fredericia and to watch more music at the jazz festival before setting off at 5 pm heading back to the UK. We arrived back at RSA on Friday around 2.30 pm, all exhausted after a very enjoyable and fun week.
A huge well done to every single student for their impeccable behaviour and superb performances on tour, they were all a real credit to the academy.
We hope you will enjoying watching a small selection of the videos here and looking at the photos.