Courtyard Classics Evening

 What a lovely idea to bring a group of young musicians to North Cyprus to join with our own young musicians in the field of music.

 On Sunday 5th August, a concert was given at The Courtyard Inn in Karakum in aid of the Cheshire Home, Kyrenia, and what a spectacular event this was.  A group of young musicians had come from Brittany (France) on an exchange program and had joined with members of the Art, Music & Dance School of Cyprus to make beautiful music.

What a lovely idea to bring a group of young musicians to North Cyprus to join with our own young musicians in the field of music.  There were approximately 60 members of the symphony orchestra as well as some of the guitar group.  They came for a week and performed on the 4th August at Bűyűk Han in Lefkoşa and again on the 5th August in the garden of the Courtyard Inn in Karakum.   The audience was told that the musicians had been practising for 3 hours a day at the Cheshire Home premises and this left some leisure time with the Cypriot musicians and they had some really good times at the beach and sightseeing.

There was a huge number of people attending the concert, made up of host families, visitors and residents of North Cyprus.  Mo, the owner of the Courtyard, told me that the organisers had brought in 320 chairs loaned by the Girne Belediye, the Ozankoy Sports Club and others, a stage had been set up and the chairs arranged in the area at the rear of the Courtyard which was heaving with people by the time the concert was to begin.  The area was well lit with coloured lights through the trees in the background making a lovely setting.  A lot of people arrived early to eat in the courtyard area at the rear before the performance, so the staff were very busy that evening.

The concert started with a rousing Hoe Down by Aaron Copland and this was followed by Mozart’s Korno Konçertosu No. 3 Larghetto with soloist Sera Gűrler on the French horn, at the age of 10 years Sera gave a very good performance.  There were 10 pieces of music including another by Mozart and Vivaldi and other more modern pieces.   A choir performed with the orchestra towards the end of the concert and the end of the evening saw a standing ovation and calls for more.

 During a short intermission, I spoke with Veronique Boucher who gave me some information about the orchestra and she told me she is involved with administration and has been associated with the orchestra for 12½ years.   OJHB – Orchestre des Jeunes de Haute-Bretagne (Youth Orchestra of Haute-Bretagne) was formed in 1985 and is open to young musicians between the ages of 12 and 25 from schools of music in the region of Rennes, France.  There are currently around 15 musicians in the guitar section and about 70 in the symphony orchestra.   They give concerts throughout the year in various regions of France and also perform world-wide, they have twice visited China, and have also visited Korea, Japan, USA, Switzerland and other European cities.   Next year they will be giving a concert in Exeter, England which was twinned with Rennes in 1956.

 The orchestra were leaving the following day so there was to be a lot of work involved by the organisers to make sure all of the members and their valuable instruments were delivered safely to the airport for their homeward journey.

 This was a very different and enjoyable form of entertainment and congratulations are extended to the organisers from OJHB and Cheshire Home for their hard work and their commitment in the monumental task of arranging a concert of this scale, and to the Courtyard Inn for supplying this lovely venue for the concert to take place.

By Margaret Sheard