2000 Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark
In May the Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. James Saker, traveled to Braunschweig, Germany (one of Omaha’s Sister Cities) and performed several joint concerts with the Concert Choir. The concerts took place at the Technical University of Braunschweig and at the city’s “Harz and Heida Festival”. A portion of the Wind Ensembles performance was featured on the worldwide CNN Television Nightly News.
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble then split from the Concert Choir and continued its tour on to Warsaw, Poland where they presented a concert at the University of Warsaw, sponsored by the United States Embassy. The group was struck by the beauty of this city which was heavily bombed in World War II. One of the favorite attractions was having the chance to stroll the cobblestone streets of Warsaw’s famous Old Town.
After three days in Warsaw, the group then traveled to Lithuania for a series of performances. While in Siauliai, one of Omaha’s sister cities, members of the delegation were delighted to have the chance to renew old friendships that had been built during the three years of association with the city of Siauliai and Siauliai University, UNO’s sister-university. And of course many new friendships were formed. The Lithuanian portion of the tour concluded with an appearance at the Siauliai University International Music Festival. The concert was presented to a standing room only audience of over 1200 and was broadcast nationwide on Lithuanian Television.
The Wind Ensemble tour ended with visits and concerts in Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; Stockholm, Sweden; and Copenhagen, Denmark. In Riga, the group was hosted by one of UNO’s sister institutions, the Riga Aviation University. Performing several concerts and staying in this beautiful city by the Baltic made for an enjoyable leg on this ambitious tour. Similar experiences were encountered in Tallinn, another gorgeous Baltic city.
The next portion of the tour was an adventure for all! At Tallinn, the group boarded a nighttime boat ride which took the group across the Baltic Sea to Sweden. The trip was fantastic with the “night” brilliantly lit by the Midnight Sun. In the morning everyone witnessed a picturesque Stockholm with the sun sparkling off the buildings in this city which is comprised of 14 islands. From Stockholm it was on to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. A day of sight seeing, a late afternoon at the famous Tivioli Gardens and a farewell dinner brought this incredible trip to a spectacular conclusion.