Busking in Europe beckons

By Lin Ferguson

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MUSICAL TOUR: Eighteen-year-old musician Daniel Aldersley will busk around Europe for three weeks. PHOTO/LIN FERGUSON
MUSICAL TOUR: Eighteen-year-old musician Daniel Aldersley will busk around Europe for three weeks. PHOTO/LIN FERGUSON

Daniel Aldersley, a teen with a plan and a strong faith in himself, is heading off to Europe today to begin a busking tour.

He will join other teenagers from the Rangitikei and a contingent of Swiss musicians and singers.

Living on a farm near Marton, Daniel was home-schooled with his three siblings and excelled at music and languages.

"There are a lot of families in this Turakina area who are home-schooled so we get together all the time."

The tour happened after he met a young and "extremely organised" Swiss tourist and his wife who were visiting Marton and Whanganui, and decided a busking tour through Europe would be fantastic for young Christian musicians.

"Our family loved them and we all became very good friends," said Daniel.

The Christian Restoration Church in Whanganui, which holds services at the Davis Lecture Theatre on Sundays, is the mainstay of many of their friends, he said.

"I have played and sung there since I was about eight."

He has also performed many lead roles for Amdram and Marton Players.

"I love to sing and be on stage."

Daniel plays clarinet with the Whanganui trad jazz group the River City Jazz Band and over the past year has also played mandolin with an Irish band at St Patrick's Day celebrations at the Grand Hotel.

"I loved it. It was noisy and great fun."

He is so excited about his trip to Europe he has checked and rechecked his huge backpack several times.

Daniel has worked stacking shelves at Pak'nSave to fund his tour. He's saved "every last cent".

Together with his older sister Hannah, Daniel has also written 18 original songs to be performed on tour.

Though the songs are "faith-influenced" they're not really full religious songs, he said.

The 20-strong busking troupe, a mix of Rangitikei locals and friends of the Swiss couple Daniel met, will also have a food truck travelling with them.

"So we won't worry about cooking when we pull into our campsites."

The tour is scheduled for three weeks travelling through Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Prague, Zurich and Venice. Daniel's older sisters Hannah and Ruth are already in Switzerland waiting for brother Dan and friend Isaac to arrive.

Because Daniel plays several instruments including piano, alto sax, guitar, clarinet, ukulele, and mandolin as well as singing, he had to scale his selection of instruments back for the trip.

Besides the huge backpack, he's taking his clarinet, tin whistle, harmonicas - and maybe his guitar.

When the tour ends, the group are splitting up and heading off in different directions.

Daniel is travelling to family friends in Dieppe, France where he will stay for another three weeks. "I've got my return ticket and think I will come home then but I'm also open to opportunities while I'm in Europe.

"There are many musical education opportunities which would be wonderful."

He has even spent the past five years learning French.

"Because I really want to get to know the local people and be able to talk to them. I'm probably not that good but I will try very hard."

His mum Janet said that even though Daniel seemed young at 18 he would be fine.

"He's very sensible and bright and will do very well."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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