China visit a Scottish first for brass band

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

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A chance conversation has resulted in a group of talented youngsters getting ready to become the first Scottish Brass Band to play China.

Carnoustie High School Brass Band will play in the People’s Republic of China following a concert they performed earlier this year in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.

The concert was for the Confucius Institute for Scotland who were so impressed by their standard of playing that they set in motion a plan to have the youngsters visit China in a cultural exchange.

The institute contacted Donald Currie, headteacher at Carnoustie High School, and requested the band make the trip next year.

Carnoustie High is the Confucius Hub for Angus and the Confucius classrooms are hubs based in schools and serving the local community.

The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.

Dates have yet to be confirmed although the trip will last for 14 days.

Seven days will be spent in Tianjin and the remainder in Beijing.

While in Tianjin, the band will be learning Mandarin as well as performing at several concerts.

The players will also be visiting Chinese families and schools.

The young musicians will also have opportunities to experience Chinese culture first hand with a chance to learn Kung Fu, Tai Chi, calligraphy and Chinese mask painting.

When the band is in Beijing they will perform at more concerts as well as visiting the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Conductor Michael Robertson said: “This is a marvellous opportunity to experience Chinese culture and it is a great honour to be invited.

Mr Currie added: “I am extremely excited and proud about the band performing in China.”

Over the next year the band will be having many fundraising events, the first being on Saturday, April 22, when they will take over the For Carnoustie charity shop for the day. There will also be a tombola stall in the shop. Your support would be greatly appreciated by the band!