2006 Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Norway
The University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. James Saker, made its second concert tour of the Baltic countries in May. Arriving in Vilnius, Lithuania, the group was greeted by many friends from Siauliai made from previous tours who traveled to the capital city to meet the flight. The following day consisted of touring the beautiful sights of Vilnius and a concert with the choirs from Vilnius University and Siauliai University at St. Johns Church. In addition to the Lithuanian members of the audience, there were a number of Americans attending as well as guests from England and several other Baltic countries. The concert was sponsored by the United States Embassy in Vilnius and the American Society of Lithuania.
The delegation traveled on to Siauliai where the ensemble performed at the university’s “International Music Festival”. The ensemble presented a highly acclaimed concert to a capacity audience that kept asking for more and more encores. After participating in some additional musical events that were a part of the festival, the group enjoyed a celebration involving students from all of the participating countries who were a part of the festival.
The group then departed for Latvia where they presented concerts in Riga, Jurmala, and Smiltene. The Jurmala concert was presented jointly with the “Town Band,” and the Smiltene concert band hosted the performance. The following day the group traveled to Estonia where they performed as part of the spring festival “Day of Tallinn”, hosted by the United States Embassy.
The tour ended with three glorious days in the southern part of Norway. The first day was spent in the capital city of Oslo where the group was a part of the Norwegian Independence Day celebration. This was followed by two concerts in Skien which were arranged by the United States Embassy in Norway and hosted by the community band “Souni”. The final performance of the tour took place in Kristiansand and was hosted by UNO’s Sister University, Adger University College. As is always the case with the UNO international tours, Omaha and Adger students had were able to interact with their fellow students further enriching their cultural experience. With a two-week tour of four countries this tour was brought to a close with treasured memories and a yearning to return!