In July 1994 the Orchestra was host to 50 Russian children for an extended visit. A number of very successful joint concerts were held during the Exeter Festival in Exeter and in other Devon towns.
The Orchestra celebrated its Silver Jubilee season by sharing a Gala Concert at Exeter University Great Hall with 60 French musicians in 1995, and by travelling to France the following year. ECO is looking forward to a visit from about 40 members of L'Orchestra de Chartes de Bretagne at Easter 2000 and will be organising a joint concert with them.
At Easter 1997 thirty seven members of the Chamber Orchestra visited Yaroslavl for a 10 day concert tour. Six concerts were played. Three of them were joint concerts with their hosts the Elling Dance Group under the direction of Nikolai and Nina Kuzmin. The other three were in the towns of Ribinsk, Kostroma and Pereslavl Zalessky.
The party returned with many memories. From the high rise flats and market stalls, the smell of cabbage soup and melting snow, the hustle and bustle of the trams, the statues and gold crosses on the many church domes. But not least the wonderful kindness and hospitality of their hosts.
In September 1999 we welcomed a small group of folk-dancers from the Elling Dance Group. Their performances included one at the Southbrook Special School in Exeter where the children with learning difficulties responded to the dancers. The dance group hopes to visit us again in 2001.
For more information on Yaroslavl.
At Easter 1999 sixty members of the orchestra enjoyed a five day visit to Bad Homburg, as guests of the Kaiserin Friedrich School, with the aim of establishing a twinning link. The party played three concerts and even won a standing ovation for a rock and roll slot featuring music by the Beach Boys. It is hoped that there will be a return visit from the young German musicians to Exeter in 2001.