Report on the Visit of Orchestre D’Harmonie de Saint-Brieuc to Aberystwyth

The long-standing twinning between Aberystwyth and Saint-Brieuc manifested once again in
a vibrant cultural exchange as Orchestre D’Harmonie de Saint-Brieuc embarked on a
memorable visit to Aberystwyth from the 9th to the 11th of May. This marked their first visit
to Aberystwyth since 2000, reciprocating the warm hospitality extended to Aberystwyth
Silver Band musicians in 2015.

The group of 63 musicians arrived on Thursday afternoon, welcomed by a hearty reception at Llety Park. The Mayor-elect, Cllr Maldwyn Pryse, extended a gracious welcome, symbolizing the strong bonds between the two communities. The evening crescendoed with a captivating concert at Ceredigion Museum, conducted by the talented Gilles le Brazidec. The audience was enraptured by over an hour of
predominantly French-inspired musical pieces, fostering a cultural bridge between the performers and the

Orchestra playing in the museum

Friday commenced with an excursion to Dyfi Wildlife Centre, where the group immersed themselves in the natural splendour of the reserve, witnessing the majestic nesting pair of ospreys. A meticulously prepared lunch complemented the enchanting experience.

excursion to Dyfi Wildlife Centre

Breton flag and the flag of Owain Glyndwr

The journey continued to Machynlleth, where history came alive under the guidance of Arfon Hughes. Amidst the mingling of the Breton flag and the flag of Owain Glyndwr, the group delved into the rich tapestry of Welsh history, exploring sites like the Sennedd-Dy and embracing the legacy of Owain Glyndwr.

The day culminated in Borth with yet another culinary delight and a mesmerizing concert at The View at Brynrodyn, accompanied by the celestial spectacle of the Northern Lights, leaving an indelible impression on all.

The View at Brynrodyn

Saturday morning ushered in a visit to the esteemed National Library of Wales, where the group received a captivating talk and tour, delving into the cultural treasures of Wales. A traditional Welsh Cawl provided a fitting culmination to the cultural immersion.

National Library of Wales

As the orchestra bid adieu to Aberystwyth, commencing their journey to Portsmouth, the echoes of camaraderie and cultural exchange resonated, promising a continuation of the enduring bond between Aberystwyth and Saint-Brieuc.

The success of this enriching visit owes much to the dedicated efforts of Heather Phillips from Aberystwyth Silver Band and Wendy Hughes from Aberystwyth Town Council, whose meticulous planning and unwavering commitment ensured a seamless and memorable experience for all involved.

In conclusion, the visit of Orchestre D’Harmonie de Saint-Brieuc to Aberystwyth exemplified the power of cultural exchange in fostering mutual understanding and strengthening the bonds of friendship between communities. It served as a testament to the enduring twinning between Aberystwyth and Saint-Brieuc, promising future collaborations and exchanges that will continue to enrich the lives of both communities.

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