2002 Symphonic Wind Ensemble to France, Belgium and Germany
In March the Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. James Saker, began a European tour with a three-day visit to Paris. Everyone had the opportunity to visit many of the wonderful sites of the city, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louve as well as experience some of its tasty cuisine. After visiting Paris the ensemble traveled via bus to Belgium and Germany. The group gave performances on the campus of Karel de Grote Hogeschool, a sister university in Antwerp. While in Antwerp, students met with their counterparts as well as saw many of the beautiful sights of the city. During the visit the delegation made its way to the ancient city of Brugge, near the North Sea, for a day of cruising the canals of the city and exploring many of its gourmet and handicraft delights. From there it was on to Germany, where one of the major highlights of the tour was a series of performances in Braunschweig before representatives from our sister cities as well as students and faculty from our sister university, the Technical University of Braunschweig. In addition to time spent on the campus and meeting with fellow students, the group spent a delightful day in the village of Goslar nestled in the Harz Mountains, about an hour drive from Braunschweig. This is a pristine town with most of its original architecture intact, as it was one of the few areas of Germany not bombed in World War II.
After leaving Braunschweig, the delegation made its way to Berlin, but not before stopping to see several important locations along the way. The group had the chance to visit Cecilienhof Palace, where the Allies decided Europe’s destiny at the end of World War II. Then it was on to Frederick the Great’s Sans Soucipalace’s Gardens, with their magnificent flowered terraces.
While in Berlin the ensemble performed a highly successful concert near the EuropaCentral. This event was accompanied with the opportunity to see many of the great sights of this once divided city. The locations included the elegant Ku-Damm with the bomb-damaged tower of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Reichstag, the monumental Brandenburg Gate, the Charlottenburg Palace, a visit to the 22210-foot high Victory Column and a morning in the world famous Pergamon Museum, housing one of Europe’s most precious collections of art treasures. A major performance and extensive sight seeing brought an exhausting but fulfilling end to the tour, one to be long remembered by all.