Concerts to celebrate 70 years of Oxford-Leiden twinning

Published: Tuesday, 5th July 2016

Two leading Dutch brass bands will perform at Oxford Town Hall on Saturday, 9 July, at 7pm to mark the 70th anniversary of the twinning link between Oxford and Leiden, in the Netherlands.

The K&G youth marching band has been crowned 2016 Dutch champions. The K&G3 stage Band stage band comprises former members of the K&G show and marching band, which has nine world championships to its credit.

Earlier in the day, the marching band will appear at Witney Carnival and West Oxford Fun Day and march through Cornmarket and Broad St in Oxford.

The stage band will perform in Bonn Square, Oxford showing its repertoire of film and dance music and everything from the Beatles to Sinatra.

Some of the older musicians have been with the band for 40 years, starting in the youth band and enjoying world acclaim in the show and marching band’s championship years.

In the evening, the Dutch bands are joined at the Town Hall by the Oxford University Brass Band and the Oxford-based Strawberry Fayre Majorettes.

Oxford-Leiden Link chairman John Chipperfield said: “This will be a rare opportunity to see two top Dutch bands, one of which has just won the national championship, in action with local musicians and majorettes.”

The 77-strong party of musicians from Leiden is the latest to receive hospitality in Oxford in the twinning link’s long history.

Oxford and Leiden were suggested as partners because both had universities, extensive waterways and were about the same size. The twinning link was forged immediately after the Second World War as part of a movement to foster friendship among nations.

A party from Leiden was in Oxford at the weekend to celebrate the anniversary with an Alice in Wonderland-themed weekend. The programme included a civic reception with the Lord Mayor, a thanksgiving service at the City Church of St Michael at the Northgate, a Mad Hatter’s tea party, an Alice river trip and a celebration lunch. 

Oxford City Council Board Member for Communities Christine Simm said: “We are proud to host these events to celebrate our long friendship with Leiden and are very excited about the concert joining bands from the two cities. The events will showcase these award-winning musicians in action and I urge people not to miss them.”

Note to editors:

Tickets for the Town Hall concert (£10 or £5 for 16 and under) are available from Tickets Oxford, Oxford Playhouse; from John Chipperfield 01865 374877 or mjpchipperfield@yahoo.co.uk or at the door.

Over the 70+ years of twinning in Oxford, citizens have taken part in activities here and abroad including music, theatre, dance, sport, politics, sustainability, journalism and education. Twinning is open to anyone who is interested in making friends across the world and can take any form.

If you’re interested in getting involved, email internationallinks@oxford.gov.uk or, call the City Council’s international links officer on 07483010888.