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    Polish Adventures - Gavin Somerset

    Composed for the All Saints Wind Band, Sheffield after their trip to Poland in the summer of 2003. This work reflects the different parts of the tour in four continuous movements... PROGRAM NOTES AS THEY APPREAR ON SCORE COVER I don't wish to ramble on with the program notes, do I do believe that if you know the story behind a piece of music, it just puts that extra something into the players performance. In 2002, the All Saints Wind Band, Sheffield, embarked on a 10 day tour of Poland. The group spent 28hrs on a couch packed with instruments, only to arrive finding Poland experiencing its worst summer in 70 years. In 2003, they decided to go back for another go! This time, luxury all the way, no 28hr coach journey, just a 1 1/2hr flight. This piece tells the story of the 2nd tour of Poland in four continuous movements... First the introduction. Early one morning, prepared for the drive to the airport, everyone tired, but excited. A day prior to this, some parents of the children set off in a van driving the instruments to the hotel, some 300 miles away. Bar 13 introduces the "Van" theme. Once arriving at the airport, the movements begin... 1. MORNING FLIGHT A very self explanatory part of the piece, and impressionist in its writing. Flying high over England and the channel, giving a sense of speed we were travelling at (compared to the poor lads in the van somewhere below us!) The Largo before F tells of the short coach journey to the hotel, and settling into what was our new home for 10 days. 2. IN THE STORM The weather was definitely an improvement on last year. So much so, that it became a regular event of the day to go and play rounders in a nearby field. This particular day however, with everyone concentrating hard on the game, it escaped everyone's attention that there was a very large storm creeping over the high mountain range near us. As the title of the movement suggests, the scene involved 25 of us running as fast as we could back to the hotel. Unfortunately, the heavy rain ran faster than us. 3. LAST MEMORIES As most of the people in the band were 18 this year, it was apparent that this would be their last event with the band. Many of the group had grown up together for the last 7 years and so, as the tour came to a close, there was a sense of sadness in the air, but everyone would always have the memories. 4. FINALE & HOME The van and the brave volunteers that went with it, set off the day before the rest of us flew home. This last movement reflect the whole tour, bringing back all the main themes from the different movements before arriving back at the school, just in time to see the van pull up. The "Van" theme makes its presence heard again towards the end. This piece was performed by the Wind Band at the leaving concert of many of the players in the band. I dedicate this piece to the band which is still functioning with new players, and to all those who took part on this tour.

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