We knew it would be a long night but in fact the hours passed by quickly. I am talking about Saturday when we had the huge privilege of attending the Concierto Homenaje al Maestro Grau in the new Auditorio de Torrevieja.
First off, the Auditorium itself – what a magnificent building it is with its concert hall large enough to hold 1,500 people built in a semi circle. Pam and I were down in the main body of the hall close to the front but to be honest, wherever you sat the view of the stage would have been excellent and the acoustics are of course just perfect.
The concert started with the band from Bigastro who played their two pieces with confidence. Thomas was suitable exuberant, inspiring the band to play at their best. The stage cleared and on came the band from San Miguel who treated us to two further pieces, the second of which was the Suite Hebraica arranged by Maestro Grau. If we were to pick a favourite from the night, that would be it. The largest of the bands from Almoradi followed. I think I counted six cellos and a double bass in their ensemble. They made way for the band from Torrevieja who were surprisingly small in number but did not lack musicality.
The Presidents from the four bands were called up to make a presentation to Francisco Grau. Then the Mayors from the four towns took to the stage and made a further presentation.
In a rousing finale, Maestro Grau directed a band composed of members from all four bands. His years directing the Band of the Royal Guard meant that he was not phased by conducting such a large group of musicians, he certainly did not need to read from the score to pull them together.
All too soon, the concert was over but it will remain in our memories for many years to come. We must thank the Ayuntamiento in Torrevieja for making the concert possible and all of the musicians for providing us with such a momentous occasion.
For those of you unfortunate enough not to be there, here are some photos of the event. For those who were there, I hope they serve as a reminder of a splendid evening of music.