December 2010 – London Concert Day-Trip

London Concert Day-Trip

December 12th 2010

The term was brought to a close with a wonderful short tour to London to attend an afternoon orchestral concert at the Royal Festival Hall given by the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Nine students and three adult supervisors took part in this event, which was sponsored by the Jersey Arts Trust. 

Following a bleary-eyed 6am meet at Jersey Airport, the flight and train to London was over in no time at all, and by 9.30am we were in central London making our way to the Southbank Centre.  The route walking from Victoria Station also presented the opportunity to visit a few key landmarks, firstly Westminster Cathedral:

Wesminster Cathedral

The sunny walk also continued onwards past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben:

Big Ben

The short walk along the Thames led through the large Christmas Market on the south bank, and finally to the destination of the Southbank Centre.  Free time followed for a chance to explore this vast facility, housing three concert halls and numerous musical and artistic shops.  After a picnic lunch, and with a couple of hours to spare before the start of the concert, we walked further along the river to visit the Tate Modern, a chance to experience some highly unusual modern works of art:

Tate Modern

Upon returning to the Southbank Centre it was time to take our seats for the concert, and the programme of music performed was truly wonderful.  Following Prokofiev’s Suite from Lieutenant Kije, Benjamin Schmid took to the stage to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, which was a performance characterised by a huge depth of tone and some moments of staggering virtuosity.  The second half presented excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and the opportunity for the orchestra to display a wonderful variety of colours and textures, with some particularly impressive moments of sheer power from the brass and percussion sections, in which the entire hall seemed to vibrate from its foundations!

Royal Festival Hall

Following a short journey back to Gatwick Aiport and the flight home, we arrived back in the island feeling as if we had crammed a whole weekend’s worth of visits and activities into one fantastic day!  Our thanks go to the Jersey Arts Trust for sponsoring this event to ensure that many of the costs were covered.  We are looking forward to running similar ‘day-trip’ events in the future, as it is simply incredible just how much can be fitted into one day if you really try!