Linlithgow Reed Band’s links with Germany

by Murdoch Kennedy

Music is the international language which knows no bound­aries. It has been a major cornerstone of the twinning link between West Lothian and Hochsauerlandkreis, involving a whole range of organisations, from school bands to full orchestras.

The Royal Burgh of Linlithgow Reed Band has made fve trips to Hochsauerlandkreis since 1981 and has established close links with many of the local bands there. They have also provided hospitality for visiting musicians to West Lothian.

A great exchange of music and ideas has taken place and the extensive Reed Band library contains many German musical pieces which have been swapped for well­known Scottish marches. Individual band members have travelled to Germany to play with local bands at the summer Schützenfests and in 2009, Carsten Freitag from Neheim played with the Reed Band at the historic Riding of the Linlithgow Marches.

The band made its first trip to Germany in the summer of 1981, at the time of its 25th anniversary, and spent ten days at the Gasthof Wrede in Oeventrop. This would also be the band’s base for subsequent trips in 1985 and 1989. A short Easter visit took place in 2008, with the band being housed in the Hotel Dietzel in Herdringen. This allowed the Linlithgow musicians the chance to renew their friendship with the local Musikverein, whom they first met in Scotland in 1997. In 2011, a 55­strong party spent ten days in Hochsauerlandkreis and from their base in Herdringen, they undertook an extensive programme, including visits to Fort Fun, the Veltins brewery and the Borussia Dortmund stadium and a joint concert and social evening with the Musikverein Herdringen. The Reed Band also renewed their association with the Schützenfests in Niedereimer and Holzen. Making their third visit to the Schützenfest in Bachum, the band played together with the Musikverein Voßwinkel, who had visited Linlithgow on three occasions.

Linlithgow Reed Band has strong bonds of friendship with musicians in Hochsauerlandkreis and long may this continue!