Steinhaus Orchester Besigheim will perform a benefit concert in aid of Child’s Play India Foundation on 26 May 2016 6.30 pm at Menezes Braganza hall Panjim. Their conductor Roland Haug spoke to me in an exclusive interview.

steinhaus orchester besigheim

1. Tell us a little about Steinhaus Orchester Besigheim.

Steinhaus Orchester Besigheim was formed in 2005. The local music school had hosted a youth symphony orchestra from South Africa, and our organisation team decided to visit them and play several concerts in South Africa.

2. What are the essential features of a wind orchestra? A visit from a wind orchestra of thirty musicians is certainly a highlight for us in Goa.

A wind orchestra doesn’t have any strings, only woodwinds, brass and percussion and drums. For the India tour, the Steinhaus Orchester Besigheim has in its ranks two flutes, seven clarinets, one bass clarinet, five saxophones, two bugles, four trumpets, two euphoniums, one baritone, one trombone, two tubas, and drum set and percussion.
You have a lot of possibilities with this combination. You can play original music which was composed especially for wind orchestra, and a lot of transcriptions of all kinds of music.

Roland Haug D

3. How long have you been associated with the Steinhaus Orchester Besigheim?

I have been with the orchestra since its inception; I’ve been its conductor since the first concert tour.

4. Tell us a little about your musical career outside of this orchestra.

I am also trumpet teacher and the leader of the Music School of the town Besigheim with about 760 pupils, and I am conductor and Music Director of several other wind orchestras, and have toured the world with them as well. I recently celebrated my 30th anniversary as conductor.

I have also undertaken several big projects such as “Brass music and choir” and the performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with a cast of over 190 actors and musicians, “Annie Get your Gun”, a companionship concert with the motto “Brass meets strings” and gala concerts with the Kreisjugend-Orchester Ludwigsburg.

4. The Steinhaus Orchester tours a lot, having done tours of other countries. Does this create a special bond between them, special memories, shared experiences?

The members are aged between 18 and 80. Some of them have participated in every tour, while others are touring for the first time with the orchestra. It’s wonderful to make music with people who love to do this together and love to travel to foreign countries. It is remarkable how young and old have fun together and help each other.

5. How has the Indian experience been so far?
We are already touring and performing in North India, and are really impressed with India’s history, its monuments, the sight- seeing and we have made many friends along the way.

6. What sort of concert programme will we hear in Goa?
We are playing an entertaining programme. You will listen to the Polka “Leichtes Blut” by Johann Strauß, the waltz “Die Schlittschuhläufer” (Skaters’ Waltz) by Emil Waldteufel, the Frank Sinatra standard “My Way” and also some surprising pieces of music like “In a gentle rain” and a body percussion.
A special highlight is our famous musical singer Kaatje Dierks. She will perform “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and songs from Vicky Leandros with the orchestra. She is a famous singer, and has performed in leading musicals such as Cats, Grease, Hair, Buddy, Footloose, West Side Story, Evita, We Will Rock You, Les Miserables, and Mamma Mia, to name just some of them.

(An edited version of this article appeared in the Navhind Times Goa India on 25 May 2016)