TS Brilliant hits high notes at twin town’s carnival party

TS Brilliant hits high notes at twin town's carnival party
Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets Marching Band in Wiesbaden

TS Brilliant took a 48-strong group of marching band musicians to Germany to take part in the Fasching carnivals.

Fasching, or fasting, is one of three different types of Lent festivities in the country, depending on the geographical region.

The local cadets were hosted by the Red Heralds, a German band and dance group – on the 50th anniversary of the two units forming a bond. In 2018, TS Brilliant hosted 30 Red Heralds members in Tunbridge Wells.

Claire O’Neill, who accompanied them as a first aid nurse, said: “They really experienced the vibrant German carnival spirit. They performed more than 20 times and marched over 25 miles.”

“The main carnival was attended by more than 350,000 people. The cadets provided outstanding musical performances that were well received by the German public.”

They had time to explore the city and met the Lord Mayor at a drinks reception where they were presented with a Wiesbaden pin, courtesy of the city Council.

It had been ten years since they last made the journey to Wiesbaden, and the group had to raise £10,000 to put on the trip, holding Christmas fairs, raffles, quizzes, dances and fetes.

The cadets were supported by Holmesdale Lodge, Tunbridge Wells Rotary Club, five Kent County Council Borough Councillors, and the Twinning Association.

Claire, who is learning the glockenspiel with a view to joining the band, said: “I couldn’t believe how wonderful the leader volunteers were, and how lovely the children were. I saw how much the children got out of it. It’s such a great thing they are doing there for youngsters. I have been so impressed by the whole thing.

“Tunbridge Wells should be so proud to have a group and a band like this – there aren’t many of these sorts of bands around. We are really lucky to have them.”

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