Concert in Münster, Germany
                                                                                               February 9th  2007 ~ Monique Hoogzaad

                                  Going to Münster, it has grown into a tradition!!!   This has been the fourth time
                                   already that Thea and I have crossed the border to go to the concert in Münster.

                                   The night before I went to bed early, because I wanted to feel `fresh and fruity` for our                 
                                    new adventure. When I woke up in the early morning of February 9th, I felt the                             
                                    excitement of leaving Haarlem. First I
had breakfast with my daughter Marissa and then I left for the park with my dog Roxy.
There was still a little snow from the day before, but it was not supposed to snow
again. I had been a bit worried the day before, because all of a sudden a lot of snow
covered not only our country but also Germany. It wasn´t that cold anymore, so no
worries about the weather like last year.
Roxy really enjoyed herself that morning with her doggy-friends (especially with her
`boyfriend` Sjakie,) and I took her home exhausted and satisfied. My things were
already packed and I was ready to `take off`!!

After an hour train ride I arrived in Rotterdam where Thea picked me up.   After an hour and a half drive  we took a
coffee-break in Arnhem and the coffee was served by a really good-looking gentleman,  but NOT as gorgeous as
André.  Time flies when you are having fun, and we had to continue on our way to Coesfeld.  Thea had a navigator
(we call it Tom Tom) in her car, so we could not get lost.  

We arrived at Chrissy´s home in Coesfeld around teatime and Simone was already there,  but Germans don´t drink tea
at that time like the Dutch, they drink sekt (German bubbling white wine). Of course we toasted to our friendship again
and this time we had an early dinner.  No no, we were not going to leave too late again!!!!

                                               After a delicious dinner we had to get ready to leave for Münster and thank
                                               Goodness we had enough time to do that. So it was big fun changing clothes
                                               and putting our make-up on.  When we were ready Manfred drove us to Münster
                                               and we arrived there right on time. Manfred and Chrissy went to the movies and
                                              Thea and Simone and I walked to the `Münsterhalle`. Chrissy decided not to join
                                               us, because she´s not such a big fan of André anymore. No hard feelings about
                                              that, though we did feel a little disappointed.

                                              When we entered the `Münsterhalle` there were already many of people inside. I              
                                               recognized some of them and it was good to see them again.  Thea and I were wearing
our `famous` red rose, also a yearly tradition since our first concert in Maastricht.  When we were looking for our seats
 (in the FIRST row again !!!) we saw a bunch of `groupies` .... all very well known faces for André, so he couldn´t miss
us!!!   Kind of funny to see all these well known fans in the first row.

André and the Johann Strauss Orchestra arrived with the music of
`Seventy six trombones`. I tried to make pictures of their entrance, but
I didn´t succeed that well.  André was in a good mood, kind of naughty
again and his eyes didn´t miss the first row,  yeah he had seen us and
the expression at his face spoke volumes!!!

Frank Steijns waved at me, because my husband Ron and I payed a
visit to our Haarlem St.Bavo Church last year when he played the
carillon there. Unfortunately we were too late, again, yes, I can
hear you saying that, ha ha!!!     I was confused about the exact time
and Frank said he played `The Second Waltz` for us, my oh my,
When he´s not touring with André, he  travels around Holland to play the carillons in old churches.  It was fun to meet
him in my hometown and we drank a cup of coffee afterwards on a terrace with another well-known carillon player.  
What a nice guy Frank is and whenever he is comes to Haarlem again, I will be on time, that´s for sure!!!!  But enough
about Frank, let´s continue with the concert ....

                                           After a few familiar songs Fréderique Jenniges
                                           did his act with the zither.  Nothing new, but it
                                           was okay.
                                           Oh, Thea an I were so glad to see `The Platin
                                           Tenors` coming on stage again,  those famous
                                            and `gorgeous  'lady killers, especially Thomas,
                                            WOW.   I checked out Béla´s shoes, but he was
                                            not wearing crocodile-shoes, ha ha !!!!
Is it not great to forget all about your sorrows and just behave like you are still in your puberty?   Their perfomance
was great and they sang `Funiculi funicula` and `Torna a Surriento`, a beautiful song.

When they left the stage, André talked about Hungarian goulash. He said they had to eat that every week because
Béla, who originally is from Hungary, made this meal weekly for the whole orchestra. Then we heard Béla singing
while walked on stage with a pan of steaming goulash???  André had said he had enough of the goulash, and Béla
disappointed  had decided to make goulash for the whole audience.  Huge applause of course !!!

Then Thomas came on stage and he took some German sausages out of his pocket.  André took these sausages in
his hand, looked with a silly face and he said he also had enough of those.  He just threw them into the audience and
it was hilarious. Then it was Gary´s turn and he had a big kangaroo-tail under his smoking and he jumped like a
kangaroo ... they were all so funny and it was a nice funny new act.  The Tenors were great, but we did miss Suzan,
Carla and Carmen singing with them.

A few more familiar songs were played like the `Wolgasong`and `Leichte Kavallerie`.  And before you realize it, there´s
the break, and we decided to drink something in the foyer ....

After the break `The Platin Tenors` came back again, yaahoo .... and I liked the song `Die Mädis vom Chantant` most
of all. That tune plays through my head all the time.

And then ..... oh yes .... the one and only `Harlem Ghospel Choir´!!! We had already seen them in Maastricht last year
and to be honest, we were a little disappointed with their act.  I was determined not to let them `spoil`my night, so I
played their CD several times at home. I got used to their sound, though it´s not really my type of music. When they
started to sing `Amen` the audience was very enthousiastic and the Münsterhalle was filled with the sound of singing
voices and clapping hands.  `Oh Happy Days` was their next song and I must confess they do have very good voices.
My ... what a sound !!!!  

The Nonnenchoir` and `I will follow him` were sung by Karin Haine, Judith Luesink and Laura Engel a new singer in
Andre's choir,
(Laura was in Toronto too, where I met her in the Hotel Hall and chatted
with her for a few minutes)
together with the girls of the HGC. They did really well,
though I must confess - again - I missed the beautiful voices of Suzan, Carla and
this time the beautiful voice of Cèline.

`The Blue Danube` and `Bolero` were the last songs before André started the
encores. `Bolero`gave me goosebumps all over my body, especially at the end
.....bbbrrrrrr .... I was just shivering .....

When the first tunes of `When the Saints` were playing the HGC came back on
stage. The audience was really elated with joy and many people got in front of the stage. André was also elated with
joy and danced together with some members of the HGC.  I must confess he did réal well and he is NOT a stick, oh
no, not at all !!!  Just imagine ... he has to dance like that almost every night. Unfortunately André didn´t play that
many encores as we are used to, though it was a memorable night, full of joy and great music.

When we `rushed` outside to get to the buses, a few security guards had to stop the fans. Normally I have never seen
so many fans as this time gathering around the buses. This time there was no chance to get close.  Once in a while
you could see some orchestra-members passing by and they waved at us. Then Johan, André´s bodyguard came to
us and asked the fans who would like to have an autograph. He collected cards books, CD´s and DVD´s to get them
to André and have them all signed. André was at a distance from his fans and signed everything. It was a little
disappointing that we could not get closer, but I think they were in a kind of hurry to get home.

                                             When The Platin Tenors passed us by in a car (they were not in the buses) I got               
                                             the chance to make a picture of Gary. When we waved everyone goodbye, it was               
                                             time to leave, too. It was pretty cold and we wanted to sit next to the open fire ...

                                            And so did we and we drove back to Chrissy´s home. There´s always so much to               
                                             talk about and we celebrated this night with Greek snacks and wine !!! Many
                                            thanks to the beautiful photo´s that Simone made, my camera is not as good as                  
                                             hers .....

Maybe we will meet again in Maastricht in July and for the time being I wish you all fantastic concerts in The States
and Canada. Just forget about all your sorrows and enjoy the music of André and his great Johann Strauss Orchestra.

Much love from Holland,

(Muenster is a very pretty city and I thought you may like to see a few pictures of it.   I was in Munster a few years
ago and especially enjoyed my tour of the Rathaus.  (town hall)   The carved woodwork is exquisite.)
Judith Luesink, Karin Haine, Laure Engel   Andre Rieu translations
Andre Rieu
Andre Rieu
Gary Bennett Andre Rieu translations
The woodwork in the Rathaus
Monique and Thea,  
Anticipation  part of the fun
Some well known groupies. Elke,
Thea, Monique, Marlene,and Peggy.