Next stop: Paris for ‘Sixth Spice’
Posted on 19 December 2016

'Sixth Spice' enjoying their time in Paris!

At the beginning of December, the College Jazz Band, ‘Sixth Spice’ travelled to France to perform in Rushmoor’s twin town of Meudon, on the outskirts of Paris.  As part of the trip, the Mayor of Meudon invited them to add some festive sparkle to their Christmas markets.

First on the agenda was a walking tour of Paris, which took in, along with all the major sights, L’Opera (Palais Garnier) with busts of famous composers surrounding the exterior wall.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, students performed at the outdoor market at Bellevue, Meudon.  The constant audience enjoyed songs such as ‘Isn’t she lovely’, ‘Watermelon Man’, and ‘Feeling Good’, alongside Christmas numbers such as ‘Santa baby’ and ‘Let it snow’.

In the afternoon, the students had a four hour jam session with musicians from the Studio de Musique du Potager du Dauphin.  This was an ideal opportunity for the students to collaborate with musicians in a variety of different styles, where the only common language was that of music!

Ben Dowsett, Curriculum Manager for Music commented, "Our musical links started with Meudon back in 2011 and now playing at the Christmas markets is something that students look forward to every year.  It is a chance for them to demonstrate their performance skills to the local dignitaries as well as perform with people from Meudon.  These strong links will certainly not be affected by BREXIT!"

Saxophonist Thomas Fletcher said of the experience, The tour to Meudon was a great experience which enhanced my performance skills as well as collaborating with others.  I especially enjoyed the jam session, participating with many inspiring French musicians.  The most satisfying part of the tour though was most definitely making music with my friends."

The trip would not have been possible without the support and organisational skills of Susanne Gremillet, in charge of ‘Breaktime’ (Meudon’s twinning association), and of the host families.  Special thanks must also be given to her husband Yves and ex-Farnborough student Bennett Soundy (now living and working in Meudon having performed as part of the College jazz band a few years ago), who organised the loan and set up of the instruments.

Explaining what the weekend meant to her, Alicia Rockall, vocalist in ‘Sixth Spice’, commented "The tour to Meudon was incredible!  Not only was it amazing to busk for a live audience and be immersed in the French culture, but my improvisation skills were put to the test and I learnt so much from the French musicians during our jam session!  A highlight of the trip for me was performing with my friends after we'd put so much hard work into the rehearsals; it was a weekend I won't forget!”