Advocate Brass Band to tour Europe

December 29, 2003|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

Concerts in Greece, Italy and France are planned July 2-16 for The Advocate Brass Band's third trip abroad.

The band will begin the tour with a concert the Fourth of July at the American Embassy shortly after it arrives in Athens and will conclude the 14-day tour with a concert on Bastille Day in Sisteron, France.

"We're not going to Germany and Switzerland next year," said tour organizer and band member Mike Swafford of Lancaster. The Advocate band had planned the 2003 trip to Germany and Greece, but canceled because of the war with Iraq.

The Millennium Brass Band will join The Advocate Brass Band on the tour.

Swafford said the bands will feature music of composer Julian at the Bastille Day concert. He said the Great American Brass Band Festival featured music by Julian a couple of years ago.


"We will go to places where most tourists would not go, and places that mean something to musicians," said Swafford.

The band also invites others take the trip. Swafford said Jan. 15 is the deadline for the $250 deposit. Cost is $3,650 for double occupancy. Call Swafford at (859) 792-6067 for reservations and more information.

The tour group will fly from Cincinnati the Athens where 40 percent of Greece's population lives. The band will tour the Hadrian's Arch, the Temple of Zeus, Panathenian Stadium the University and Acropolis hill or the "Sacred Rock" of Athens.

After two days in Athens, the group will leave for Corinth to tour ancient remains and partially reconstructed Temple of Apollo, the Fountain of Glauke, Julian Basilica, Peirene Fountain and the Bema, where St. Paul preached Christianity.

A trip is planned to Kalavrita to visit the Agia Lavra, on a ridge that overlooks the Vouraikos River valley. A monastery there has a collection of early Christian objects. The town is a ski resort in the winter and was a strategic point in Greece during the 1821 Revolution when Greece defended it's heritage from Turkish oppressors. A concert is tentatively planned in Kalavrita July 7.

The tour will continue on to Patras, the capital of the Achaia Region and largest city in Peloponnese in southwestern Greece. A ruined castle, a relic of the Venetian invasion of the town between 1687-1715, overlooks the city and bay.

The group will depart a midnight July 8 by ferry to Venice, Italy, a city situated on 120 islands formed by 177 canals in a lagoon between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers near the Adriatic Sea. More than 400 bridges connect the islands. A tour of the canals via gondola. The band also plans to present a concert during the ferry trip.

Trips July 11-12 to Genora, the Italian Riviera at the mouth of the Roya River; Nice on the Cote-d'Azur or the French Riviera; and Monaco on the Mediterranean Sea in the South of France will follow.

The group will get a view of Mount St. Victoire, on the way to Sisteron, France, in the Provence region. Plans also call for a tour of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-des-Pommiers, a 12th Century church, and a marketplace. Concerts are planned July 13-14.

The final day will be spent in the Provence region where gigantic cliffs of calcareous rock are the result of the Verndon River. That evening, the group will travel the route of Napoleon back to Sisteron.

The tour group will fly to Cincinnati from Marseille, France.

This will be the second concert tour to Europe for The Advocate Brass Band, under the direction of George Foreman, which also has given concerts in Trinidad and Tabago and Venezuela.

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