‘Light into Europe’


 On Friday 21st April a quintet from the band travelled by BlueAir from London Luton to Bucharest, Romania, arriving at midnight local time. The flights and accommodation at the Caro Park Hotel were sponsored by the UK charity “Light into Europe” which had requested the band to provide live entertainment at a St George’s Day charity fundraiser for Romanian Guide Dogs for the Blind, which is an initiative being championed in Romania by this charity. By the time we made our way to our hotel and found our rooms it was nearer to 1am. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel on Saturday morning we just had time to drive the short distance into the city centre and spend a couple of hours marvelling at the size of the People’s Palace constructed during the Ceausescu era – it’s reputed to be the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. Finding the hotel again after a pizza lunch proved slightly trickier and at one point we went head to head with a tram but all ended well. The event was being held in a large ballroom at the Caro Park Hotel and much of the afternoon was spent setting up the stage area and having a practice session while the hotel staff added the final touches to the tables. The band first played outside while the guests arrived to their welcome drinks and then moved onto the stage in the ballroom, playing several sets before and after the main meal. As the band’s advocate (non playing) I was highly impressed with the range and quality of music played to a very appreciative audience. The evening culminated with a rousing performance of Pomp and Circumstance and much applause and a job well done. On Sunday morning the band had been asked to play a couple of hymns at the International Church of Bucharest which the charity founder attends and it was a pleasure to hear the band play again. We were then treated to a nice lunch before our flight home in the afternoon. All in all the whole trip went very well and I feel privileged to have been able to share a wonderful experience with this group representing Tendring Brass Band. A big thanks to Ann, Ellie, Trevor, Bob and Antony for agreeing to travel all the way to Romania and give up their time for this worthy cause.