For our July 2015 Tour, we travelled to Malta for the first time where we received a wonderfully warm welcome. We performed three concerts: at Fort St Elmo, Valletta as part of the Malta Arts Festival; in Victoria, Gozo; and outside the Parish Church in Mellieha. We were delighted to have Andrew Zolinsky and Daniel Benn join us as soloists for these concerts.
 
Here are some of the highlights of the tour as recalled by the players:
 
  • Amazing week all round – thank you for letting me be part of the Stoneleigh family
  • Rob making us play the loudest bit of the Liszt when a wedding was happening in the church opposite us
  • Spending a week in Malta and still being the same colour as the rice
  • Having a ‘wi’ald’ time
  • When Rob stole our sun lounger…
  • A fantastic week all round – thank you
  • Filling water bottles
  • The bell that kept going off in the last concert and Rob getting annoyed with it
  • Being attacked in the pool by a 6 year old with an inflatable turtle
  • The changeable nature of the set-in-stone itinerary
  • Trainee room checking, supervised by two giggling “official chaperones”
  • Getting to play my favourite concerto with my favourite orchestra, supervised by superb staff and musicians
  • The talent show was funny and original
  • I also really liked the amount of freedom each of us was able to have
  • Excellent choice of repertoire
  • Matthew being called Casa-Nova by the waiter in Buggiba
  • Abbie’s ice cream melting whilst she was buying something and the cone starting bending
  • Andrew playing the piano at the airport
  • Zoe getting really freaked out by the fish on the beach
  • Seaside sunrise
  • Ruining a wedding with our wonderful music
  • Loved the food. It was great – filled my tummy
  • Such an amazing week – I am already looking forward to the tour next year
  • As a guest, I felt extremely welcomed into the orchestra and I was amazed by the warm and friendly atmosphere created by each member
  • Tour was wicked as usual. It always goes by way too quickly. We hope this won’t be our last and that we will join you in again in years to come– you won’t get rid of us that easily.
  • Lethal games of Irish snap
  • Midnight meditation on the balcony
  • Beach day
  • Being quizzed about the triangle too much
  • Felicity carving a baton out of a stick for Alex at 1am and then having to clean it up
  • Trombones not having their music ready – ever
  • The boys making pesto pasta – and Hannah doing the washing up and not getting credit for it
  • Making a 12 hour long playlist called “vegetable soup”
  • The ceiling falling down at 6am
  • One of my most intimate, exciting and rewarding concerto experiences. I have played Rach 2 many times, but with SYO and their wonderful conductor, I was able to explore new depths and feel as though everybody came with me on this journey.
  • I haven’t enjoyed music making this much since I toured with SYO as a student