Ballard’s music tour to Tuscany this summer was a huge success. As well as offering the chance for pupils to experience Tuscan culture, this was an opportunity for them to experience all that touring entails. From overnight bus journeys to carrying heavy equipment down narrow cobbled streets in 36 degree heat; setting-up, performing and then pulling it all down again. This was all about team-work and professionalism and our pupils rose to every challenge.

Performing in front of the Sacrato Della Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta in Montecatini on our first night was challenging with no vehicular access, lots of equipment to carry and a shortage of electrical point. The pupils pulled together and performed an outstanding set. The Function Band opened the hour-long set with Vehicle by the Ides of March; our Upper Voices sang hits from ‘A Star is Born’ and ‘La La Land’; when the band returned for the finale the local residents were dancing.

Leading on from this performance, we continued onto Florence. Pupils were given a chance to explore the Uffizi before performing in a stunning Florentine Church. The Italians designed many of their churches for music and the acoustics were beautiful. Passers-by popped in as the haunting vocals carried into the piazza. Our saxophone quintet and chamber orchestra also performed alongside a number of soloists and our chamber choir. Highlights of this stunning Scared Concert can be found in the video below.

Our final performance held in the Piazza del Grano in the city of Pescia. Repeating the Montecatini set the pupils raised the bar even higher with exceptional performances throughout (see the video below). Over  a hundred Pesciatini residents attended the concert as part of their music festival and they were enchanted by our pupils. So much so that by the end Mayor of Pescia presented us with a framed picture of the town saying that he hoped a little bit of Pescia would stay with us as Ballard would definitely stay in their hearts..

Andrew McCleave, Headmaster, said:

“We are always very keen to strengthen our international links through school trips like these as well as our Erasmus programme. Our pupils in the choirs and bands were great international ambassadors for the school on this visit.”