The Herten and Doncaster exchange season is almost upon us! Here at HQ we are all busy with getting the upcoming Doncaster/ Herten 22nd Year exchange ready and underway. This is one of the few times in the year where many different social, educational, and musical strands come together in a week long community of exchange activities. There are those amusing phone calls and emails between countries where language barriers are laughed off and replaced with excitement that another exchange is happening, concerts in over 5 schools where a new wave of young students get inspired and have the chance to listen to Big Band swing, jazz and rock music, street performances in York and Doncaster, Ceilidhs, party nights, a large scale professional performance concert at CAST, and exchange students living with Doncaster Swing, Stage and Jazz Orchestra host families… All in the space of 7 days starting from Sunday 26th June.
Doncaster Youth Jazz Association has been responsible for exchange related activities for over 30 years between countries in Europe and Doncaster. Following highly successful performances at the Montreaux and Nice Jazz Festivals in 1979/80, ADDIM Rhône (a regional French council) contacted John Ellis MBE to encourage a new partnership. The exchange programme was launched and annual trips to the Rhône based region of France was the beginning of exchanges across Europe. Every year saw a different town financed by the French ministry of Culture. Then came Germany, Poland, and eventually the US. “All concerts” says John were a series of “animation” (French for entertainment) concerts in schools with public evening concerts in major town venues.” The format of these exchanges form the foundation of the exchange programmes we run today. They encompass all of the community. Music is an international language that communicates to all audiences through the pleasure of performance whether you are young or old.”
Hundreds of Doncaster residents will get the chance to hear the EKS Herten Big Band play across the week. If you have the time to join us why not stop by for a range of free and paid for events including Sandall Park on Sunday 26th June from 2pm where they will be accompanied by the Doncaster Concert Band, York town centre on Parliament Street on Wednesday 29th June from 10:30am, or on the 1st July where they will be accompanied by bands from Doncaster Youth Jazz Association at the CAST theatre. Tickets available on the CAST website…And should your children be fortunate enough to hear them play at one of the special school assemblies across the Doncaster borough do make sure to ask them about it! After all, many of our greatest towns’ musicians all started by attending these exchanges.