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Sobinov Orchestra: It will soon be a year…..

Time flies, and it seems like it happened yesterday. It is about a year ago that the Sobinov Children’s Orchestra from Yaroslavl took part in the celebrations devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Exeter--Yaroslavl Twinning Association. We are very thankful to Exeter City Council for the invitation, and to John Street personally for his help in organising the visit.


Sobinov Orchestra in Concert

Looking through the programme of our visit we remember how many events there were during this time. Our journey to England was 3 days there and 3 days back. It was a bit tiring on the coach for so long. But we saw many European countries that we had to pass through, and sailing on the ferry between Europe and England. We have many good impressions. We arrived to our place when it was dark, and so only in the morning did we realise what a beautiful place we were staying in. It was Ladram Bay, a wonderful place on the shore of the English Channel.


Next day we were able to get to know the beautiful town of Tiverton, visit the local Museum and give a concert in New Hall. We were worried about how the audience would respond to us, as we had heard about English reserve. To our surprise the hall was full, and we did our best to make our sincere Russian folk music understandable. From the warm welcome expressed by the audience it became clear that we understood each other. Lots of positive emotions have stayed with us.


Sobinov Orchestra in Concert

Later events followed one after the other at high speed: concerts, meetings, new acquaintances, excursions, visits to interesting places, communication with the wonderful Exeter Children’s Symphony Orchestra, joint performances for Exeter citizens, opening of jubilee days, many street performances, flash-mob in the rain … . We gave 12 concerts all in all. We felt tired, but it was a pleasant tiredness that left us with many positive emotions.


We could write a lot about the days spent in Devon, but it isn’t possible to describe all the feelings we have brought back home with us. Thank you to all who helped us and took part in the organisation of the visit. We would especially like to say a big thank you to Julia and David Parsons. This was their idea, and they gave lots of strength and energy to realise it. We all often remember this time. They were unforgettable days for the children, teachers and parents. In spite of current difficulties, we hope that kindness, relations between people, and mutual understanding will triumph, and that fate will give us the opportunity to see each other again and visit the places where we had such a happy time.


Till we meet again,


The Sobinov Orchestra and its leader Pavel Sergeev


Translated by Nataliya Gubina