2000 Concert Choir to Germany, Czech Republic, Romania and Moldova
On May 2 the UNO Concert Choir, led by Randall Stroope, left for Frankfurt where they met with UNO Wind Ensemble to travel to Omaha’s Sister City, Braunschweig. During the next 4 days both groups had the chance to interact with students at UNO’s sister university, the Technical University of Braunschweig, perform several joint concerts and be a part of the city’s annual Harz und Heide Festival.
After a tremendous dinner celebration with UNO and Braunschweig students on the evening of May 5, the wind ensemble and choir split the next morning and headed in different directions. The UNO Wind Ensemble traveled north to do a series of concerts in the Baltic countries while the UNO Concert Choir went southeast to begin the next portion of their tour. The first stop for the choir was the Czech Republic, with Pilsen serving as the home base for the next three days. While there the choir was a part of the 55th anniversary celebration of the Liberation of the country during World War II. During this festive event, the choir sang for the Mayor’s special dinner and then at the Town Square, where they sang before a crowd of over 2000 cheering people. This was a very special part of the trip that will long be remembered.
After a tour of Prague, the choir left for Olomouc where UNO has an affiliation with Palacky University. The city is a beautiful example of Medieval construction and has been proclaimed as a historical monument. Everyone loved their experience in Olomouc and had the chance to make some lasting friends with their fellow students. With several concerts performed, the group continued its tour with some tearful moments as newly found friends said farewell. The group then spent two days through the Hungarian and Romanian countryside on their way to Chisinau, capital of Moldova. It is home to The Academy of Economic Studies, another UNO sister institution. While there the choir participated in a ceremony where UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck was awarded an honorary doctorate. The hospitality and reception received was phenomenal, creating another set of lasting memories.
The last leg of the trip was to Romania to visit Iasi, the cultural capital of the country, and Bucharest, the actual capital city. While in Iasi, the group was hosted by Al I Cuza University, another UNO sister university. The level of hospitality and the warm reception of performances continued not only in Iasi, but in Bucharest as well. A most exciting event was the choir’s appearance on a morning talk show broadcast by the National Romanian Television Network. On May 20, the choir returned home, tired but delighted with their thousand-mile tour through Central and Western Europe.