2024 Tour Day 6: Fourques, Arles, and Aix-en-Provence

Today we had two concerts, including a children’s concert, in Fourques, France.



The day began gloomy with dark clouds and plenty of rain. We bussed to the Auditorium where we began rehearsing for the children’s concert. The venue was an auditorium much different from our first on the tour. Our ensemble sound was more intimate and did not ring as much as that of the one in Lyon. However as the kids began filling the seats their enthusiasm and excitement filled the space.


For the concert, we played excerpts from Tragic Overture by Brahms, Billy the Kid by Copland, and the Firebird Suite by Stravinsky. In between these clips of music, all instrument groups performed demos to show the children what each instrument sounds like. Most of the wind demos were performed by the principal players while the strings demonstrated together. Many kids had different reactions to all the sounds, almost as if you could see which instruments they were intrigued by. The concert ended with thunderous applause from the children.



After the concert, we had about two hours to get lunch. My group and I found a nice lovely where I had truffle for the first time on a pizza!



Following lunch, we took a short ride to tour the colorful city of Arles. This city played a big role in inspiring some of Van Gogh’s paintings. We were greeted with the Jardin d’été at the beginning of the tour, which honored Van Gogh with a statue at the entrance. We headed further into the city to see the Arles Arena, left over from the Roman Empire.



In ancient times, it was used for games, battles, and performances. The arena is still being used today for bull fighting and other events.



The tour finished with a quick trip to the Museon Arlaten and visit to L’espace Van Gogh, the former hospital of the city. Now it is a center for Van Gogh’s works. We headed back to the auditorium after the tour and had some time to rest, quickly followed by a rehearsal. Dinner was served after rehearsal, and we had time to enjoy our food with the beautiful sunny weather and scenery of the town.



Our concert began with a fantastic performance of the Tragic Overture by Brahms. We began the Billy the Kid Ballet-Suite by Copland but were soon stopped by a power outage. During this time Maestro Smith began playing the cello, and almost like magic, as soon as he was done with his piece the lights came on! We continued through our repertoire with one more interruption but the GTCYS students persevered and continued to give an amazing concert. We headed back to the hotels where everyone started preparing for the long trip to Barcelona tomorrow. We’re all ready for a new adventure. See you in Barcelona!

-Andrew, flute

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