Angus youngsters are preparing to set off as musical pioneers on the trip-of-a-lifetime to China.
On the back of a Glasgow performance two years’ ago which impressed their international audience, the Carnoustie High School Brass Band will become the first such British school band to to perform in Eastern superpower.
They will fly from Glasgow on September 7, bound for Beijing after a successful 18-month fundraising campaign to make the trip.
Conductor Michael Robertson described it as a “marvellous opportunity and a great honour”.
In 2016, the band performed in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel for the Confucius Institute for Scotland, who were so impressed with the standard of playing they contacted Carnoustie High headteacher Donald Currie to extend the invitation for this year.
Confucius hubs are classes based in schools which also serve the local community. Carnoustie High is the Confucius Hub for Angus.
The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.
The Angus pupils’ 15-day trip will see them spend seven days in Tianjin and seven days in Beijing.
While in Tianjin, the band members will take lessons in Mandarin and perform at three concerts.
They will also visit Chinese families and schools and experience the nation’s culture first hand with opportunities to learn Gongfu martial arts, Tai Chi, caligraphy and mask painting amongst the activities.
Mr Robertson said: “When the band is in Beijing they will perform at three more concerts as well as visiting the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.
“One of the highlights of the trip will be performing at the British Embassy in the Ambassador’s residence on September 15 at the Embassy’s request, in front of 2,000 guests.”
As well as the band, the group will include a piper, two Scottish country dancers and five staff.
Mr Robertson added: “I am very proud to be taking these young musicians to China. “They work so hard and are a joy to teach.
“I would particularly like to thank the amazing support we have received from the Carnoustie public and local businesses which have helped make this venture possible.”
Locals have a chance to enjoy the talent of the young musicians at a concert in the High School theatre on Thursday August 30 at 7pm.