Edinburgh College Band Tour 2018
It was the opportunity of a lifetime as a cohort of Edinburgh College students and teaching staff farewelled their families, boarded the bus, waited at the International departures gate at Tullamarine and finally, flew to South New Zealand. Those who had the window seats enjoyed the picturesque view of stunning snow-covered Southern Alps upon the descent to Christchurch.
With 10 performances in as many days, the schedule left little time for error, covering almost 2,000km in a three-vehicle convoy across the island. Each day began with an early start, performing at a local primary school, interacting with students, packing up and then travelling on to the next town. Once accommodation was located and settled into, a time of sightseeing could then be enjoyed.
Highlights of the trip included being on the receiving end of the fearsome ‘haka’ from students in response to the performances. In a couple of the schools, there was time to play some songs and jam together. Four of the Edinburgh students had the opportunity to go mountain biking with the Hanmer Springs Year 5 class.
My favourite part about NZ was the connections I made with not only the people from our own school but with the kids of NZ. I loved when we got to know and play with the kids because then they got to ask questions about the instruments and they could be themselves. Another one of my favourite parts of NZ was seeing the kids faces when we performed. Since I was up the front singing I got to see their reactions. I loved it when they all smiled and got into it because then I knew they were enjoying themselves and they were happy! Thank you so much again for taking all of us and putting up with me being loud on the bus trips!
~ Bella Anderson
My highlight of the New Zealand band tour was seeing not only the kids but the also adults enjoying the music and time we shared with them.
~ Lushomo Chinganya
Other highlights for students were visiting the hot pools at Hanmer Springs, the kiwi wildlife centre and glacier on the West Coast, and riding the luge above Queenstown. The scenery appreciation from the students grew daily, enjoying sunshine for most of the trip with one day of snowfall along the way. Bonds formed within the group as students and staff worked and ate together, and everyone was quick to jump in where required with chores. The first international band tour for the Edinburgh College Band resulted in outstanding performance, students rising to new challenges, meeting new friends and spreading joy with music.
The Edinburgh College Band Tour is headed for Tasmania in 2019.