Vakantieorkest Ad Hoc was founded in 1988 on occasion of the silver jubilee of the “Union of Cities of Orange” (viz. Diest in Belgium, Dillenburg in Germany, Orange in France and Breda in The Netherlands). To add to the jubilee festivities the Cities of Orange were invited to southern France by the end of the summer holidays in 1988. The Breda based delegation was accompanied by an, especially for the event formed orchestra (hence the name Ad Hoc), being composed of participants from various music societies in the Breda region.
As the by Ad Hoc performed jubilee concerts were highly appreciated by its audience, the idea came up to form a new orchestra every year to go on tour to a European country. In the meantime Ad Hoc has undertaken concert tours to and across Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Luxembourg but most of the tours went to France’s most popular region “The Provence”, where Ad Hoc is a much respected guest.
Ad Hoc, on top of offering its participants the possibility of actively carrying out Dutch wind music, is also seeking ways to have the medium military band promoted in an original manner. It does so by offering holiday tours with attractive musical programs together with concerts in special sites.
To have its mission realized, Ad Hoc creates a good and sound balance between performance at the one side and relaxation on the other hand. In other words: on high level playing music, in a casual setting and at the same time offering the participants easy appeal to holiday activities. It goes without saying that the repertoire, most of it containing contemporary original wind music, from baroque to rock as we call it, plays a dominant role and is justifying our slogan: “something for everybody”. Ad Hoc wants to be a platform where amateurs can work together with professionals, in order to learn from each other.
Musicians from all over The Netherlands are given the opportunity to report them selves for the next coming tour. Ad Hoc is always seriously seeking for the perfect setting for its concerts: under the foliage of ancient trees on rural squares to especially, for the concerts built stages. By emphasizing appropriate repertoire we want to “touch” our audience.
By organizing touristic and historical activities, participants are given the chance to broaden their view on local culture. Finally, to draw attention to the social aspects of human life, at least one so-called social concert is given at an appropriate location. Such concerts are often taking place at a hospital or an institution for the disabled.
The overall organization of the tour is in the hands of the Board of Ad Hoc. The Executive Board is formed by a president, treasurer and a secretary. In addition, there are three general members who are responsible for Musical Policy, Public Relations, Media and Communications and Participants Contacts respectively. The board is responsible for both the short term and the long-term planning and oversees all tasks to be performed. In order to guarantee and improve the quality of Ad Hoc’s performances, participants are requested to fill in a questionnaire every year; participants valued the tour of 2017 with a 8.4 on average!
Ad Hoc is a large symphonic wind orchestra which is just and only formed for a one year’s tour. Approximately 65 musicians, on average between 25 and 27 years old, form the orchestra, which after short but very intensive rehearsals, exists for 10 days only (in July); after being back from tour the orchestra gets completely disentangled and the process of recruiting musicians for next year’s tour will start soon thereafter. Over time, the focus on origin of musicians has shifted and whilst musicians originally came from the Breda region, nowadays they sign up from the entire country (from Limburg in the South to Friesland in the North).
Playing in the open air is the perfect setting for maintaining the holiday-feeling, preferably at rural places where normally spoken a lot of people come together. For the occasion built stages form a good alternative. If necessary, e.g. caused by weather circumstances, performances can be moved to indoor locations. Interaction between orchestra and audience is experienced as very positive and important. On average, 400 people visiting a concert of Ad Hoc is not exceptional and rather more than less. At each concert, we try to enchant the audience who, as a gesture of appreciation, mostly reward the orchestra and its conductor with long lasting enthusiastic applause.
Ad Hoc’s repertoire embraces a huge variety of works and compositions that can be described best as “from baroque to rock”. The entire time spectrum can be found back in the programming. Within the repertoire room is always made for domestic music and this is always highly appreciated by the local audience. This encourages the artistic director to make up an original program filled with own chosen repertoire and foreign compositions as well. From experience it can be said that playing foreign repertoire is always innovative and very instructive for the musicians. Last but not least it must be mentioned that it is a good tradition that the program, other than featuring own soloists, is also making use of own orchestrations as well.