Guitar Festival Nordhorn 2012

School Outing

I guess you will remember. The sense of tense expectation you had as a school kid before the first school outing. How will it be, where are we going? What’s the best place in the bus? Will it be enjoyable and will the bullies keep quiet this time? Are we going to the Zoo? Or a recreation area? The lunch box will be ready, maybe with some extra sweets as a surprise...

It was a pity that my first school outing experience was spoilt by chicken pox. Bad luck! Anyway, fortunately many “school outing” moments heave followed ever since.

Guitar festivals are school outing moments for me. I have them from 2006, since last year even twice a year. This year has a special, I will be participating in the amateur competition for the first time!

Thus, I drove to the German town of Nordhorn on the morning of Friday April 27th with this pleasantly exciting sense of school outing. I was on the road quite early this time, because I would lend a hand with the intake of the participants.

Spring came late this year, most trees had their buds not opened up yet. Yet the promise of lush green was on all branches. It was quiet on the road, even though it was an ordinary Friday. Preparation for the spring break, maybe?

The old and trusty Scandinavia route was still there, despite the fact that it has currently been degraded to the insignificant N342. At the border you may notice, however, that it is still a popular trucker’s stopping place, here you can park for free to spend the night. It is strikingly lively with the supermarkets at both sides of the border. Apparently, the old DDR slogan über der Grenze scheint die Sonnethe Sun shines at the other side of the Border – is valid for both parties!

Nordhorn was dozing quietly under a watery sun. The cleared Niehues empire looked just like last year. I guess the current economic crisis does not encourage large building projects. The bare plains where looms used to rattle in the textile factories now are the domain of rabbits and field voles.

I turned off to the Marktstrasse and was surprised to find a parking space near the school in bright daylight. I parked just besides a car with a Dutch license plate. I was wondering where its driver came for.

I picked up my stuff. Guitar, my bag with water, bread and Ergoplay, and another bag with books of the DOS Amigos Homepage Collection. I was allowed to sell them at the festival. Wait and see (via Internet the sales are zero, I guess that’s the consequence of the free downloadable content of the site).

The Mittelstrasse, the address of Kulturhaus NIHZ, is not far from there. That’s the location of the crime scene. There it is going to happen again!

Guitar Festival Nordhorn 2012!

The Festival

The Nordhorn Guitar Festival is a three-day event, comprising master classes, concerts and the competition in two categories. One category is intended for professionals and conservatory students, the other serves ambitious amateurs. Because of the lack of subscription, there were no workshops this year.

This time the participating musicians were Thomas Müller-Pering, Alberto Mesirca, Nutavut Ratanakarn from Thailand, the Klemke Gitarrenduo (Samuel and Laura Klemke), the Anido Guitar Duo (Annette Kruisbrink and Arlette Ruelens) and last but not quite least Roland Dyens!

The first day is reserved for the master classes, the preliminaries for the profi/student competition and the concert by Thomas Müller-Pering. Day Two is dedicated to master classes, the amateur competition, and the concerts by Nutavut Ratanakarn, the Klemke Gitarrenduo and Alberto Mesirca. The last day brings again master classes, the finals of the profi/student competition and the concert by Roland Dyens.

A festival like this requires a lot of organisation, from public relations to preparation of the food. Kulturhaus NIHZ gets lots of help from the Rootveld family (Fred, Angie and Sarah), Liz Day from Switzerland and all kinds of people that lend a hand during the festival. A glimpse behind the scene taught me that this band of volunteers provide an important contribution to the success of the festival. People, Hats Off!