Our last day in Caen began with an early breakfast before checking out of our friendly hotel and attempting to fit everything we brought into our cars (minus the ‘goody bags’ we had brought from Dorset for our French friends and colleagues). I have to admit, though, that there was a fairly strong smell of cheese in the car for our return journey.
Our final concert of the tour took place at 10am in the Memorial Museum in Caen – where we’d started rehearsals only three days previously. It was really impressive to see and hear how much the children had become more confident and more at ease with performing Sammy’s music as the week had progressed.
After the concert, we were invited by our French colleagues to join them for lunch. It was great to spend time relaxing with them at the end of this project. It has been fascinating learning about how they work, and finding so much common ground. Each of us string players really enjoyed working with our French counterpart, and we found that our approaches to playing were so similar that playing as an ensemble was like an extension of playing as Resonate Strings.
We managed a visit to the magnificent Bayeux Cathedral en route to Cherbourg, and had a quick drink near the theatre in Cherbourg where we’d played with some other French musicians as part of the Titanic commemorations in 2012. It was then time to check in for our return ferry trip to Poole.
This is the end of a project which, over the course of eight months, has seen our relationship and playing with our French colleagues go from strength to strength. We hope very much that we will be able to work with them again.
BSO Second Violin
This was the final part of a project that took place in October when the BSO Resonate Strings and BSO guest musicians travelled to Caen to give the French premiere of Sous Les Pommiers with musicians of l’Orchestre Regional de Basse-Normandie and pupils from a school in Caen.
The project was funded through an EU Interreg grant which was successfully bid for by Caen and Portsmouth City Councils. Our involvement in the project has come about through the BSO’s long-standing relationship with Portsmouth City Council, and in particular a previous EU-funded project which the Mini BSO worked on.