Thursday July 9. This day heralded the arrival of more fan friends. Because this weekend’s concerts went on sale first, the tickets were snapped up by most of the hardcore fans. A lot of hugging and kissing took place on the Gauchos terrace! In the afternoon there was a sound check with André moving all over the Square in a golf cart. The fourth concert took place that evening.Friday July 10. Today the fan dinner took place on one of the Stiphout (shipping company) river cruisers. On board were 135 adults and 2 children (Sophie and Josh Horder, 8 and 6 years) representative of 17 nationalities. The majority came from across the North Sea – the UK. For the first time we welcomed a lady from Uruguay. Other countries that were represented: USA, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Holland, France, Malta/Gozo, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Canada.Before we allowed the fans on board, we decorated the ship with André- and country flags, a cardboard André and a banner along the railing. Ruth Morgan creates new buttons every year, given free of charge to the attendants at the fan dinner and the picnics. Thank you Ruth, for doing this for so many years!!! We welcomed our guests of honor: the Horder family. And two more surprise guests came on board: Gary and Laura, who patiently posed for many photos.After the buffet was finished off with fresh fruit, ice cream and Crème Brulée, we all headed to the concert!! We saw Mirusia's parents (from Australia) in the audience. At each concert we saw standing ovations for the soloists.
Saturday July 11. The day of the second fan picnic in the park was marked by beautiful weather – not too hot, not too cold. The setting was perfect: Sun, shade, grass, benches, a children's playground and a wonderful backdrop (Bastion "The five heads" and a fountain in the lake). The largest number of fans ever came to the park: We counted about a hundred! We never before had so many! The previous record was 70! We met many new fans who we had never seen before, not even on Facebook! So the fan gatherings are becoming more and more well-known and popular. We even had a Danish fan Chiwawa!That evening, while waiting in front of the theater steps just before the concert started, Pierre came out to hand over two DVDs to the Horder sons. The Rieus knew they would be in the audience that day. André Rieu Productions had gathered material of Howard and Susan in several audiences, from their own recordings archive and compiled two DVDs. Wasn't that a wonderful gesture?The Horders experienced mixed emotions while in Maastricht – as could be expected. But they said that they now understood why their parents loved being in Maastricht during the concerts so much. They enjoyed the music, they danced to the Blue Danube, and the children waved their Australian flags. When André asked the audience: "Where do we all gather today?", 6-year-old Josh shouted with his high-pitched child’s voice: "In the center of the universe!" Fantastic! He knew! He had watched two previous concerts from his hotel window! The 12-year-old Kerkrade boy, Enzo Kok, winner of the Holland's Got Talent competition for children (by playing the violin), was invited by André to play along with the Johann Strauss Orchestra all evening! He played the entire repertoire!!!
Mirusia’s parents were there! (Photos posted with their permission).
Sunday July 12. Time flew and this was our last day. We said goodbye to the Horder family, who would now fly back to Australia via Amsterdam. Their vacation was over and the children had to return to school. They are in our hearts forever.Today Laura performed two concerts at the second venue: the Cellebroeders Chapel, near the Vrijthof. It was a resounding success. Ruud recorded a few pieces for the website. Click HEREto see the videos and photos.In the evening we watched the last concert from our hotel room. We received visitors: a camera crew from "Crossing Borders" making a promotional documentary on the province of Limburg. On this night the weather was cold (jackets needed) and there was a slight drizzle, but not too bad. In Holland we can hardly call it "rain", but André provided ponchos for people who liked to have one.Monday July 13. It was time to pack our bags and say goodbye to the hotel crew and the fans. They were all so wonderful. Good bye, see you next year!!!Ineke.
A few more photos:Walk of Fame on the Vrijthof Square. André has his own star at the Theater’s steps.Kathy waltzed with André. (No one had that idea before!)Seen in Maastricht: Would you like to have these shoes? Béla maybe?I scored my 5th high five with André.Exhibition about details? We found more! Red carpet and water bottles.
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