Travel

 

In 1973, the band accepted an invitation to attend Purmerade, an International Youth Music Festival in Purmerend, North Holland for the summer of 1974.  This festival ran every four years and was open to any European marching or concert band who wished to perform and/or compete.  The festival committee sent an invitation to the Irish Embassy, who made contact with the Irish Association of Brass and Concert Bands, who in turn contacted the Mullingar Town Band. The band accepted the invitation and after six months of fundraising and saving money flew to Amsterdam, staying one night there before continuing on to Purmerend.  Accommodation was provided by foster families in the nearby village of Oozthiuzen.  It was in this small community that short and long term friendships were established between band members and their foster families, of whom have exchanged trips throughout the years.  This was the beginning stages of International contact for the Mullingar Town Band, already proving successful.  The trip lasted two weeks.

This was the beginning of many travel ventures for Mullingar Town Band.

July 2004 saw the Mullingar Town Band celebrate 125 years of existence with their first journey to America.  The band travelled to Raleigh in North Carolina where they were hosted by the Cardinal Gibbons High School Band for one week before travelling onto South Carolina to visit Mergon who hosted the band for the second week of the bands American tour.  During the two weeks in America, the band performed concerts, marched parades, played in jazz ensembles and socialized with fellow band members from the Cardinal Gibbons High School Band.  Band members who embark on these international trips are assigning themselves to months of preparation and a high level of commitment.

It has always been the aim of the band to elevate its members and its audience.  The grateful reception which the Raleigh and Mergon communities presented to the Mullingar Town Band throughout their travels in America demonstrated the appreciation and high regard in which the Mullingar Town Band are held among these communities.

Other countries the band has travelled to include the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and of course all over Ireland.

The band aims to travel a small trip every two years and to travel further afield every four years.

We have yet to venture to Australia, Asia, Scandinavian countries and Africa…all in good time!