European Young Musician Festival
Sunday, July 29, 2018
Granville and Sherborne contacts and exchanges are in the news again as the French town hosted the Douzelage European Young Musician Festival from 1 -6 July. Music students from Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Belgium and England together with local French students had a wonderful week of making music together, giving two concerts and taking part in a competition to select the best musician. Sherborne, representing the UK, had five young musicians there and they were led by Dr Rachel Milestone, Director of Music at Leweston School. The students played wonderfully and took two of the top five places, the standard of music was very high.
As well as the soloists performing in the concert, Leweston pupil, Eliza also performed on the piano with the music school orchestras and part of ensembles making chamber music. The musicians were great ambassadors for their schools, the town and the UK; several of them also introduced their music and fellow performers in French.
The group all stayed in the CRNG Sailing School down by the harbour side in Granville, where they have the largest daily tidal changes in Europe. Being by the sea meant that swimming was a great way to relax, no matter what time of day or evening and the jumping platform, about 100m out from the sea wall was a popular spot. Sharing accommodation and meals with people from other countries was a wonderful way to understand Europe from the grass roots. They ate well and the favourite snack for all was Crepe, with sugar or chocolate, or fruit sauces.
Social activities included seeing French street dance performers, a treasure hunt, town tour, band night, visiting Mont St. Michel and on the way home going to the Normandy Landing beaches. At Mont St. Michel, in addition to exploring the town, they went on a guided walk across the sands at low tide, crossing rivers and practising what to do if stuck in quick sand. It was a lot of fun, especially as the group knew they had experts there to help if needed.