Parc & Dare Band
Parc & Dare Band at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo July 2004
An outward looking organisation in absolutely every sense the Parc & Dare Band is always keen to make links with other artists and organisations both home and abroad. In addition to the many and various partnerships which the band has forged within Wales and the UK over the decades numerous links have also been made overseas.
Though Parc & Dare has been forging such partnerships for many years these links were never formally recognised until the Hand of Friendship Project was formally realised and adopted in 2002. Since the project was formally adopted Parc & Dare has been seen a substantial increase in it's international partnerships. These partnerships include:
Hamburg Polizei Show www.polizei.hamburg.de
Parc & Dare appeared in this spectacular show organised by and featuring the Police Force of the free and hanseatic city of Hamburg, Germany in October 2002 at the invitation of Dirk Reimers. Whilst appearing in the show the band performed alongside the Polizeiorchester Hamburg and the Band of the Moscow Military Conservatoire.
Parc & Dare with the Band of the Moscow Military Conservatoire, Hamburg Sporthalle, October 2002
Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo www.nstattoo.ca
Following their appearance in the Hamburg Polizei Show the Parc & Dare Band went on to appear in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the largest indoor show of it's kind anywhere in the world, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in June/July 2004. The band created a floorshow with the Canadian Atlantica Gymnastics Team based upon a selection from three movements of Dr Peter Graham's Windows of the World: Amazonia, Rainforest and Drums of Thunder. Such was the success of the band's appearance in the show that they were invited to return to the show by Producer / Director Dr. Col. Ian Fraser the following year which they duly did, and a lasting bond between the band and the show was firmly forged. A contingent from the band now returns to perform in the show with the Tattoo Fanfare Team every year.
Parc & Dare Band with the Atlantica Gymnasts, Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 2004
Russian Cossack State Dance Company
Parc & Dare first encountered the famous Russian Cossacks at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in 2004 and a lasting friendship was formed with the company and with their Producer Vitaly Mironov. Communications continued after the two groups departed from Halifax to their respective homelands and in October 2005 it was the pleasure of the Parc & Dare Band, in conjunction with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and the Treorchy Town Centre Forum, to welcome their Russian friends to Rhondda Cynon Taf and to Wales. The two groups performed together on the stage of the Parc & Dare Theatre to a capacity crowd on October 1st 2005, a feat which they hope to repeat again sometime in the future.
The Russian Cossack State Dance Company
l'Orchestre de Cuivres de Franche-Comte
In late 2003 Parc & Dare were approached by Roger Cardot of Musique Jeunes et Voyages, France enquiring whether the band would be able to provide expert instruction in brass band performance and musicianship to a relatively new group of brass musicians which had recently come together under the direction of Pierre-Marie Budelot in the city of Besancon, south-east France.
The band came to Treorchy in February 2004 and spent a week with Parc & Dare Band Musical Director Craig Roberts increasing both their instrumental fluency and facility with the English language. On Thursday February 10th the band performed in concert with Parc & Dare at Park Hall in Cwmparc, where the two bands performed their own separate programmes in the first half of the concert before combining in the second to perform a selection of massed items, culminating in what else but the "1812" overture.
Stadtorchester Ravensburg www.stadtorchester-ravensburg.de
The band's home county of Rhondda Cynon Taf is twinned with the German cities of Wolfenbuttel, Nürtingen and Ravensburg. In April 2005 Parc & Dare were approached by twinning association chairman Mervyn Pugh on behalf of the Stadtorchester Ravensburg to assess the band's level of interest in twinning with the sixty strong German wind orchestra.
In June 2005 Stadtorchester Direktor Harald Hepner visited Rhondda Cynon Taf to attend the Welsh Brass Arts Festival to both meet with and see the band perform, and finalise whether a twinning link could be formed. The link was duly formed and in December of that year Parc & Dare Band Musical Director Craig Roberts flew to Ravensburg to work with the Stadtorchester and direct them in concert performances of Gustav Holst's Moorside Suite and Percy Grainger's Irish Tune from County Derry at the Ravensburg Konzerthaus.
A return visit was made in April 2006 with Herr Hepner returning to Rhondda Cynon Taf to work with Parc & Dare in preparation for that year's Good Friday concert, where Herr Hepner then conducted both Parc & Dare and the Treorchy Male Choir.
Big Anthem Fawr
In 2006 the now firmly established link between Parc & Dare Band and the Stadtorchester Ravensburg became the focal point of the 2006 Welsh Brass Arts Festival when the entire orchestra travelled from Germany to Wales to perform alongside Parc & Dare in a concert entitled Big Anthem Fawr, a celebration the 150th anniversary of the Welsh National Anthem "Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau". The anthem was of course composed in Rhondda Cynon Taf itself by Pontypridd's Evan James and James James in 1856.
In addition to a new arrangement of the National Anthem the programme also featured music by Mozart, Monteverdi and first performances by a combined wind and brass orchestra of Edward Gregson's "The Sword & The Crown" and the Third Symphony of American composer James Barnes.
Following the visit of the Stadtorchester to Rhondda Cynon Taf in 2006 an ensemble from Parc & Dare flew to Ravensburg in December 2007 to perform in the orchestra's annual Festliche Konzert. The link between the Stadtorchester Ravensburg and the Parc & Dare Band remains strong and it is the aspiration of both organisations that the partnership continue for many years to come.
Big Anthem Fawr: The Parc & Dare Band and the Stadtorchester Ravensburg, Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy, June 2006
Stadtkapelle Nürtingen www.stadtkapelle-nuertingen.de
Following the establishment of the twinning link with the Stadtorchester Ravensburg communications were then received by Parc & Dare from the stadtkapelle of another of Rhondda Cynon Taf's twin towns, that of Nürtingen, Germany. A delegation from Nürtingen, led by Stadtkapelle President Eberhard Beck, visited Wales for the 2006 Welsh Brass Arts Festival and at the Festival a second twinning link between the band and Germany was formed.
In December 2007 an ensemble from Parc & Dare flew to Germany to perform in concert alongside both the Stadtkapelle in Nürtingen and the Stadtorchester in Ravensburg. The bond between Parc & Dare and the two orchestras, and many close friendships between all three parties, were inextricably forged. Parc & Dare now look forward to welcoming ensembles from our friends in both Nürtingen and Ravensburg to Rhondda Cynon Taf in June of this year to perform alongside the band at the 2008 Welsh Brass Arts Festival.
Members of the Stadtkapelle Nürtingen and Parc & Dare Band, Rathaus Nürtingen, December 2007
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