Performing in Paris: a successful summer Music tour

Performing in Paris: a successful summer Music tour

QE musicians of all ages gave performances at iconic venues in the French capital during a summer Music department tour.

Fifty-two boys from Years 8­­–13 combined concerts with seeing the sights of Paris during their five-day tour.

Their performances included one at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, one at Disneyland Paris and a bandstand concert in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Director of Music Ruth Partington said: “This was overwhelmingly a very successful and most enjoyable trip, and a great way for our musicians to celebrate QE’s 450th anniversary year.

“The boys performed well, savouring this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

This trip was open to all pupils in Year 8 and above participating in two or more regularly rehearsing ensembles and to all boys taking GCSE or A-level Music, provided they were in at least one such ensemble.

Travelling by coach and ferry, the boys’ first visit was to the Chocolaterie Beussent in Normandy, where they were told on a guided tour how chocolate is made from cocoa beans and learned the history of the small company.

After arriving in Paris and a rehearsal on their first evening, day two saw the boys deliver a 20-minute concert at Disneyland Paris’s Videopolis Theatre, after which they had the chance to let their hair down. Their one-day tickets gave access to both Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios.

On day three, the party walked up the steep hill to visit Sacré Coeur and enjoy the panoramic views across Paris.

Near the cathedral, they had the opportunity to stroll the narrow streets of Montmartre and see artists at work and selling their paintings.

On the same busy day, they went on a walking tour, seeing the restoration work going on at Notre Dame following the disastrous fire and visiting the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries and the Champs-Élysées.

They then gave their bandstand performance in the Jardin du Luxembourg – an historic attraction the origins of which can be dated back to 1612, when Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV, constructed the Luxembourg Palace as her new residence.

The day’s activities concluded with ascending the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper.

Day four brought a cruise on the Seine, a visit to Versailles Palace and Gardens and a one-hour concert at the American Church of Paris on the Quai d’Orsay.

On the final day, they climbed the Arc de Triomphe before setting off home, where they experienced a four-hour delay – the only hitch in the packed programme.

Among the participants was Nikhil Mark, a pupil from Year 11, who said: “The experience was surreal: I absolutely loved it.”