Just before Christmas, the College’s Jazz Band, ‘Just in Time’, travelled to France to perform in Rushmoor’s twin town of Meudon. The Mayor of Meudon had invited them to add some festive sparkle to the Christmas markets.
The weekend was packed with a variety of performances. At the markets, the group entertained shoppers and spread festive cheer in the cold weather. The audiences enjoyed jazz favourites such as ‘Watermelon Man’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’, alongside Christmas numbers such as ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’.
Students also took part in a four hour jam session with musicians from the Studio de Musique du Potager du Dauphin. This was an ideal opportunity to collaborate in a variety of different styles where the only common language was music!
During the trip, the group performed at the Lycée Rabelais, Meudon’s secondary school and had a walking tour of Paris, taking in major sights from L’Opera (Palais Garnier) to Notre Dame Cathedral. On the last night Paris's premier International Sports and Social Club, Standard Athletic Club, hosted a dinner for the students in their club house in the forest of Meudon.
Seth Husband, second year student said, “It was a fantastic experience musically, culturally and socially. The highlight of the trip was performing with my friends after we'd put so much hard work into the rehearsals. It was a weekend I won't ever forget!”
Curriculum Manager for music, Ben Dowsett, remarked, “Our musical links started with Meudon in 2011 and now playing at the Christmas markets is something students look forward to every year. I never fail to be impressed at how they rise to an occasion, even in unfamiliar situations. In every respect, they have been great representatives of both their college and community.”
The trip would not have been possible without the support of Suzanne Gremillet from ‘Breaktime’, Meudon’s twinning association and her husband Yves, the amazing generosity of the host families and past College student Bennett Soundy, who now lives in Meudon and organised set up and loan of some instruments for the band.