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Youth Band’s overseas tour falls victim to SARS

The Latrobe City Youth Band tour of Japan and China has fallen victim to concerns about the widening occurrence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) with the Band’s planned performance tour postponed indefinitely until the threat dissipates.

By Latrobe City - 9th April 2003 - Back to News

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The Latrobe City Youth Band tour of Japan and China has fallen victim to concerns about the widening occurrence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) with the Band’s planned performance tour postponed indefinitely until the threat dissipates.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Graeme Middlemiss, said that while the deadly virus is not prevalent in the Jiangsu Province, where Latrobe’s Sister City of Taizhou is located, there were strong concerns in the community over airline travel from countries affected by SARS.

"Council, at its meeting on Monday evening, resolved to postpone the Band’s tour of Japan and China in light of travel warnings from national and state authorities. This decision was not made lightly, but primarily took into consideration the wellbeing of all Band members and their families," Cr Middlemiss said.

"We understand the disappointment that the young people who have put so much effort into preparing for their tour, must be undergoing. There will also be a great deal of sadness experienced in our Sister Cities where the youth band was to perform, Taizhou in China and Takasago in Japan. Both communities were eagerly looking forward to our visit.

"Our task now is to sit down with the band and see what can be worked out for the future. Council remains more committed than ever to the Youth Band and we will ensure that a tour is arranged as soon as the current concerns with regards to SARS dissipates, and we can find an appropriate window to visit China and Japan that doesn’t interfere with VCE exams.

In the short term, the planned concert on Saturday night will go ahead, and we have been encouraged by the remarks of many of the young people who have said that they still want to give it their best effort and play better than they ever have before.

We have also been encouraged by the Youth Band sponsors who have stated that in spite of the setback they will continue to support the young people," Cr Middlemiss said.

"On a personal note, my fellow Councillors and I would like to congratulate all members of the Youth Band on their enormous efforts to date. It was a very difficult decision for us to make, knowing so many of the young musicians would be so disappointed, but we also had to take into consideration our duty of care to the young people themselves, their parents, and the community at large.

"We are terribly sorry about the postponement, but this was something that we could not control. We are very determined to see this through and ensure that at some point in the near future, the tour goes ahead. We will also look at other opportunities for the young people to work together as a band and bring joy to other audiences," Cr Middlemiss added.


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: news@gippsland.com



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