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Gillingham Imperial heads to the Hille

Published in Band News on 2013-08-22 by Empty Chairs

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Gillingham Imperial Silver Band will see the band packing a few essentials into a bag this morning as they will later be getting on a coach to head towards Hille in Germany.

Since 1983 Gillingham Imperial Silver band has enjoyed exchange visits with the Musikzug Viktoria Hille from Germany, celebrating 30 years of friendship this year

The exchange was originally arranged by Fred Tranter, Gillingham’s long term musical director and Friedhelm Shutte, Hille’s past conductor.

On the 9th of July 1982, Fred wrote to Friedhelm after returning from a visit to Germany with another band where he met and discussed the possibility of exchanging visits. In his letter he suggested that Hille should visit Gillingham in 1983 and then Gillingham should visit Hille in 1984. This was agreed and Friedhelm and the first visit by Hille to Gillingham was made on 29th of July 1983. The Musikzug arrived at 3pm at the Leisure Centre in Gillingham where they met their hosts for the first time. 67 people came on the first visit.

In 1984 Gillingham made its first visit to Hille, in 1986 Hille returned to Gillingham. After this there have been return visits in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011.  Sadly both Fred and Friedhelm passed away in 2010.

You can keep up to date with all the action from the tour by following the #hille30 hastag on facebook & twitter to find out more about the trip as it happens.

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