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Blue skies under a cloud

April 30, 2010 at 6:29 AM

I want to say thank you to the wonderful people of Kilkenny who made our extended stay in Kilkenny such a great success.The youth orchestra that I conduct 'Orchestra Giovenile di Firenze' was invited to spend a the week of 13th April until the 20th in Kilkenny as part of an exchange with their youth orchestra 'Kilkenny Youth Orchestra' which will be visiting Firenze next year.Ireland blessed us with clear blue skies and shining sunshine for the entire stay.It was difficult to imagine that lurking up above was a volcanic cloud.At our final concert in the Black Abbey on the Monday night we thought we might make it back as both Bologna and Dublin airports were due to reopen.The members of the youth orchestra were staying with the families of the Kilkenny youth prchestra who bought their charges to the railway station at 6:30 in the morning.Then we heard that the flight was cancelled.The very generous families offered their hearts and homes to our youngsters and took them in for the four days before we could get a flight home.Many thanks go to Marion who manages the Kilkenny youth orchestra for finding sponsors for a bus to takle us touring in the mountains, a morning at the bowling alley and a farewell party at a hotel.Also we had the opportunity of giving another concert in a school.What could have turned out to be a disaster became a memorable holiday.The only downside being on our return myself with  missed lessons to catch up and the kids with their schoolwork to catch up.THANK YOU,THANK YOU KILKENNY 

From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 30, 2010 at 4:15 PM

What a beautiful story! Hearing that people can be so graceful and show so much hospitality and enjoy making music together -- this gives me such a good feeling.

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