2003 Jazz Ensemble I to Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia
On May 31 the Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Peter Madsen flew from Omaha to Vilnius, Lithuania to begin a two-week concert tour of the Baltic countries. After spending a day in the capital city sight seeing, the ensemble performed a concert with the Studium Chorus from Siauliai University at the United States Embassy hosted by Ambassador Tefft. Just one year earlier the Concert Choir had performed for the Ambassador who fondly remembered that performance and had great praise for the Jazz Band. The group then traveled on to Siauliai, one of Omaha’s sister cities. In addition Siauliai University is a sister university to UNO. While in Siauliai, the band performed several concerts to enthusiastic audiences.
The jazz band then traveled to the beautiful seaside village of Klaipeda. Here they participated in the Klaipeda International Jazz Festival where they were the only student group in the Festival which featured groups from all parts of Europe, South America and the US. Everybody was extremely delighted to discover that the world famous trumpeter Maynard Ferguson was part of this event. The entire trumpet section of the band even got him to pose for a picture with them. Next the group ventured north and began a two-day tour of Latvia based in the capital city of Riga. While there the ensemble performed a highly successful concert. From Riga the Jazz Band traveled on to Estonia performing a concert at Tartu University and participating in the Tabasalu BigBandFest.
Aboard the “Romantika” ferry the group traveled from Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, to Helsinki, the final stop of the tour. After spending several days exploring the capital city of Finland, performing a final concert, and partaking of a lavish Finnish farewell dinner, the delegation returned to Omaha on June 15.