facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us


Carnoustie youngsters enjoy trip of a lifetime to China

The members of Carnoustie High School Band have just returned home after enjoying a truly memorable musical trip to China.

  The band enjoyed many highlights on their trip of a lifetime to China

Carnoustie High School Band has returned home following a memorable trip to China. They were the first ever youth band to be invited to perform in the country following an official request made by the Chinese Ambassador to Scotland.

The first week was spent in the city of Tianjin where they performed to capacity audiences on four occasions. The young musicians also attended Mandarin lessons each morning, took part in Chinese fan painting and learned to play the zither.

On completion of the Mandarin course each student and teacher received a certificate.

Many highlights

One of the many highlights saw the band perform at the British Embassy in Beijing in front of 2,500 guests, before meeting the British Ambassador, Dame Barbara Woodward OBE, who was presented with a quaich.

Piper, Owen Sweeney, who joined the band on the trip, was invited to perform for the Embassy Security Services and was presented with a medal and received an invitation to become the official piper for the British Embassy in Beijing.

Meanwhile, Scottish country dancers, Meggie Martin-Lyall and Cara McFarlane were also enthusiastically received. The girls wowed audiences with their own modern dance routine set to traditional music.

National television

At the Embassy the band was filmed in performance, later appearing on Chinese National television and leading officials to extend a further invitation to return again in 2019.

The players certainly enjoyed the cultural aspect of the tour with a visit to the theatre to see 'The Legend of Kung Fu' as well stepping out on Tiananmen Square and entering the Forbidden City where they walked for eleven miles!

There was also a tricycle tour of the exclusive Hutong district of Beijing, before they gave a memorable performance to a capacity audience at the Beijing Conservatoire of Music — receiving an extended standing ovation.

Great Wall

No visit to China would be complete without a visit to The Great Wall, which they did before another extraordinary final concert at a high school and primary school attached to Beijing University.

The band shared the concert platform with a group of amazing eight year old Mongolian dancers and an incredible primary school orchestra.

Before they flew home the group visited the Emperor's Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, before just having time to take in some shopping at the famous Pearl Market and a trip to the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium.

The Chinese people were warm and welcoming and many friendships have been formed. The pupils were a credit to Carnoustie High School, Scotland and especially to their parentsMD, Michael Robertson

Trip of a lifetime

Musical Director Mike Robertson told 4BR: "A special thank you must go to Fiona MacPherson, Faculty Head of Expressive Arts at Carnoustie High School, Paul Judge, Angie Hill, Jocelyn Robertson and to Mr Ding who organised and co-ordinated all the events in both Tianjin and Beijing.

He did a superb job and was extremely popular with both pupils and staff."

He added: "This was the trip of a lifetime for the young musicians. The Chinese people were warm and welcoming and many friendships have been formed. The pupils were a credit to Carnoustie High School, Scotland and especially to their parents.

I'm so proud to have been able to take this group to China and I would like to thank again everyone who helped make this possible."

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    


European Countdown: 7 days to go

April 20 • The first winners of the European title in 1978 got £1,000 for their troubles — so how much has being crowned the best band in Europe actually been worth over the years in cash terms...

Prof King

European Countdown: 8 days to go

April 19 • Montreux host the European Championship for the fourth time — but who is still around from the last three times in 1994, 2001 and 2011?


Butlins support for British Open titles

April 19 • There is plenty of prestige as well as dosh to to claim if you become a British Open Solo & Quartet Champion at Butlins next January.


Vienna Nights in Utrecht for 2019

April 19 • Philip Wilby's homage to Mozart, Mahler and Freud leads the test-piece choices for the 2019 Dutch National Championships.

Grimethorpe Colliery Band -

Saturday 20 April • Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8LB HU2 8LB

Regent Hall Concerts - Regent Hall Band & Regent Brass

Saturday 20 April • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army) . 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ

Gresley Colliery Band - A George's Day Concert

Saturday 20 April • The Gresley Old Hall, Church Gresley DE11 9QW

Contest: European Brass Band Championships

Friday 26 April • 2m2c Montreux Music & Convention Centre,Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland  . 1820

Regent Hall Concerts - Celebrity Recital - Brett Baker (trombone) Elliot

Friday 26 April • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London . W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ

Dobcross Silver Band

April 20 • Looking for a band for Whit Friday? Dobcross Silver Band are looking for a TROMBONE and BASS to complete our line up. In the heart of Saddleworth with our own contest in Dobcross, this is always a great experience. Come and join us!. .

The Wigston Band

April 19 • Musical Director Vacancy: Second Section Wigston Band are looking to welcome an enthusiastic Musical Director to help develop our senior band. Rehearsals are Tuesday and Thursday in South Wigston, Leicester - just 10 minutes from Junction 21 of the M1.

Stannington Brass Band

April 18 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.

Simon Gresswell

Conductor, adjudicator, tutor, tuba specialist