The City of Chester Band is always pleased to welcome players visiting Chester, none more so than when they're students at English in Chester, Chester's language school.For many years, the City of Chester Band has had young players from Europe (Switzerland, mainly) join for the duration of their course.Friendships are made and it's always sad when the time comes for their return.
The latest temporary recruits to the Band have been two Swiss: Julian Burkhard (euphonium) from Beromonster in the canton of Lucerne and Andrin Buehler (Tenor Trombone) from Hohenrain, also of the same canton.Julian plays in Musikgesellschaft Eich, while Andrin is a member of Musikgesellschaft Hohenrain.
Both come from musical families.During their time with the City of Chester Band they have enjoyed working under the Bandâ€™s Musical Director, Ewan Easton MBE.
For both the musical highlight was taking part in the Whit Friday March Contests with City of Chester.These competitions have been held since 1884 and originally concluded religious celebrations when workers were given the day off.On a balmy summer evening on 9 June Julian and Andrin rubbed shoulders with musicians from all over the UK and Europe as bands moved around villages (travelling in coaches) in the Saddleworth and Tameside districts playing their chosen quick-step march. Competitions usually start around 4 pm and close around 11.
City of Chester played in six of the nine competitions in Saddleworth; the number of competing bands in each contest ranged from 48 to 81 with City of Chester getting placed roughly in the middle of the pack comprising bands of all standards, it being a third section band.
In Uppermill there was a brief opportunity for Julian and Andrin to see one of the three visiting Swiss brass bands which featured in the prizes.The evening was topped off in Denshaw where City of Chester played their last contest.It was 10:30 and band members were relaxing over their favourite cup of Darjeeling (!) before boarding the coach home but the return was delayed when the famous Black Dyke Band drove into town to play in the competition, enabling members to listen to, and appreciate, their performance and where Dyke earned the 1st prize of £1,000.
On return to Switzerland Andrin will transfer to a school where he will work on a farm for 4 days with 1 day spent in the classroom.Julian is to begin a course studying economics.The City of Chester Band wish to place on record their appreciation of Andrin and Julian's playing and friendship over the past few months and wish them every success in the future.Attached are photos of Julian Burkhard (euphonium) and Andrin Buehler (tenor trombone) in City of Chester band uniforms on the evening of the Whit Friday march contests in Uppermill.