2007 Concert Choir Tour of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany
The UNO Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Matthew Harden, began a fourteen-day tour of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The first stop on the journey was Amsterdam where the ensemble performed at the English Reformed Church. This concert received critical acclaim! The next two days were spent with boat rides through the canals of the city, a tour of the Keukenhof Gardens and a trip to the craft village of Zaanse Schans. The group then moved on to Brussels, capital of Belgium and headquarters of the European Union. After a tour of the city the group traveled to Cathedrale des Saints Michel et Gudule for an afternoon performance. They then traveled to Waterloo where they gave an evening concert at the Swedish Church Chaussee. With a long day of performances the day before, it was time to have a day of relaxation so everyone went to what some call the most beautiful city of Europe, Brugge. After a city tour and orientation on a boat through the canals of this medieval town everyone had the opportunity to be on their own to sample the food delicacies of the city and shop for unique gifts including some of the world famous Belgian lace.
The next four days spent in Braunschweig, one of Omaha’s oldest sister cities, were one of the highlights of the trip. It began with a tour of the nearby town of Wolfenbüttel, burial site of German composer Michael Praetorius. The visit culminated in a Mother’s Day concert at the St.-Johannis-Kirche. The next day was spent touring the medieval town of Goslar in the Harz Mountains. This charming town provided delicious cafes and wonderful shopping with tales of witches that were part of the regional folklore. Day three in Braunschweig began with a walking tour of the city. Everybody enjoyed passing through charming cobblestone streets with the smell of bakeries and friendly greetings from the Braunschweig residents. The walk ended at City Hall where the group performed for the Mayor and other city officials. This was followed by a reception highlighted by the signing of the official city guest book. The musical highlight of the trip was the concert at the Technical University of Braunschweig, a UNO sister institution, where the choir enjoyed a large and appreciative audience. Following several encores, the president of the University sponsored a lavish reception. That evening the students made fast friends and experienced Braunschweig night-life with their new comrads. The group then traveled to Berlin where they sang two concerts and had the honor of being special guests for a rehearsal of the Rundfunkchor Berlin (Radio Berlin Chorus). The trip concluded with travel to the center part of Berlin where everyone feasted at a farewell dinner. The next morning it was off to Omaha with two weeks of newly acquired, long-lasting memories.