The Musikverein Grombach Band from Bad Rappenau, Germany has recently completed a very successful weekend visit to Llandrindod Wells.
The forty five members of the band were part of a delegation of fifty-two people who were welcomed to the town by Christine Rouse, Mayor of Llandrindod Wells, at a reception held in Llandrindod Wells Golf Club. After their long journey to Wales the visitors spent their first afternoon and evening relaxing with twenty host families getting to know each other and exploring the local area.
Llandrindod Wells and Bad Rappenau Twinning Associations had organised a busy schedule of visits and concerts for the band during its short visit to Wales starting with a trip to Tenby where the band played a concert in the grounds of St. Mary’s Church to a large and appreciative audience. Band members then enjoyed a boat trip to explore the shores of Caldey Island and encountered a pod of seals basking in a cove. On their return to Llandrindod the visitors shared a meal together at The Plough Hotel, Llandeilo.
On the final day the German delegation travelled to Cardiff where they toured the City Centre sightseeing and shopping. In the afternoon the band performed a concert at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. Unfortunately the concert was interrupted by a bomb scare when the Millennium Centre was evacuated and the outside area cordoned off by police but the band reassembled near the Cardiff Bay Beach and continued to play despite the police security activities nearby.
On their return to Llandrindod the band members performed a final concert at Holy Trinity Church, supported by the local choir Ffrindiau under the direction of Kaye Rees. The band played a wide variety of music including English folk tunes, items from the Lion King and traditional German pieces. A highlight was a medley of Beatles tunes played as a big band item which brought the loudest applause of the night.
Musikverein Grombach is based in a small village near Bad Rappenau. The village has 1,200 inhabitants and its’ band has over 100 instrumentalists ranging from 7 – 70 years of age, a remarkable achievement in such a small community. At the end of their visit all members of the band and visiting supporters were overwhelmed at the hospitality given to them by the host families in Llandrindod. The visit helped to build friendship and understanding through the exchange of music and cultural experiences, and a number of the instrumentalists plan return visits to Llandrindod to consolidate the musical friendships they formed during their stay.
Prior to their long journey home the group enjoyed a farewell “brunch” at the Metropole Hotel. Chris Rouse, Mayor of Llandrindod Wells, wished the visitors a safe journey home and thanked everyone in Llandrindod and area who had worked hard to make the visit such a success. A particular word of appreciation was given to the host families for making their German guests so welcome.