11 Mar Saturday Music School Germany Tour
On Friday evening, 5 February, 50 staff and students from the Saturday Music School set off on a coach tour of west Germany. The purpose of the tour was to immerse ourselves in German music, culture, history and geography and to reward the students for the commitment they showed towards attending the Music School every Saturday morning for 3 hours.
We first arrived in the small medieval town of Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber. The students had the day to relax after the overnight coach journey and to see this beautiful Unesco listed tourist site. The students were treated to a visit to the medieval Kriminal Museum which houses the history and variety of torture implements used as recently as the early 19th century on those not able to follow the society’s strict rules and expectations of citizens. It was a very educational experience but somewhat reassuring to know that we have a more liberal view towards social equality in modern times.
The next day we journeyed down to Dachau to visit what was the first concentration camp set up in Germany by the Nazi Party. This was indeed a very confronting experience for the students and it particularly affected some of the older students who may have studied the holocaust in history and other curriculum areas. All students respected the visit and behaved impeccably and sensitively towards this notorious episode of human history.
The subject of the next two days was our residency with Teresia Gerhardinger Gymnasium, a secondary school for gifted and talented girls run by a convent in the centre of Munich. Over the course of the two days the students did various rehearsals in a variety of ensembles for almost 16 hours in total. It was extremely hard work that resulted in an incredible concert for the local community. This was a very special moment as it was an opportunity to say thank you to the families of the girls who were host families to our students over the course of two days in Munich.
After a hectic couple of days in Munich we had the opportunity to do some more siteseeing in the beautiful university city of Heidelberg, the German equivalent to Oxford or Cambridge. Here we celebrated some birthdays with some traditional German strudel, saw the sites, did some shopping and….walked home. Yes, our bus broke down on the second last day and we had an hour to trek home to our hostel. The students were excellent and even after a long day on their feet none complained about the additional walk home.
Unfortunately the last day of the tour meant us sitting around waiting for the coach to be fixed and sadly we had to cancel some activities and performances organised in Koblenz in the north. A real shame but a great opportunity for all to relax and talk about the tour that had been.
We arrived back in London at 5:45am on the last day of half term extremely tried, bleary eyed and longing for a shower and a sleep. It was well deserved!
Mr Brown (Assistant Head)