ST VINCENT SINGERS IN HOLLAND - 2015
Some 46 St Vincent Singers and friends spent 5 days in Holland from 27-31 July. Our base was at a 4 star hotel at Noordwijk, on the west coast of Southern Holland. The food and accommodation were superb and there were no complaints. As with all SVS holidays, the 5 days were packed with lots of activities as well as 3 very different concerts.
Our musical theme this year has been A-Z of Musicals - from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s works to’ By the side of the Zuyder Zee’, as well as a religious concert in a church near Noordwijk. The church had recently been refurbished and was beautiful, the acoustics were outstanding and so despite the sparsity of the audience the anthems sounded awe-inspiring.
The second concert was held in a care home and could not have been more of a contrast to the first. This little village was just for people of all ages who were physically and mentally handicapped but the audience was determined to enjoy themselve s- they clapped and danced as we sang and their enjoyment was palpable as can be seen in the photos. They were also keen to join the singers, dancing on the stage with them!
Our final concert was in a holiday camp near the Hague and the Singers plus the rest of our group entertained everyone with enthusiasm.
Besides concerts we had a boat trip on the canals in Amsterdam, plus a bus trip round the capital, despite the inclement weather. we saw where Anne Frank lived but, despite some of the party queuing for 3 hours, they still ran out of time and were unable to see inside.
We visited Leyden with its canals and restored mill for grinding corn and then Delft with its beautiful town square and busy market, and spent our pocket money on the characteristic blue and white pottery. We saw the extensive flat bulb fields, which were flowering with lilies at present, rather than the more traditional tulips.
On the final evening we had our traditional concert where everyone ‘does a turn’ There were sketches and poems, fairy tales, travelogues and duets, and it proved a fitting end to a most successful 5 days. We drove back to England and ended up queueing at Calais for some 2 hours due to striking seamen, along with miles of lorries.
My grateful thanks to everyone who came, especially our driver Kevin, who was most patient as well as a superb driver, and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much I did!