2008 Chamber Choir to Mexico
In March the UNO Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Matthew Harden, traveled to Omaha’s newest sister city, Xalapa, Veracruz in Mexico. In addition, the ensemble traveled to and gave concerts in Puebla, Veracruz, Cuernavaca and Mexico City. Among the many highlights of the tour were a concert at the University of Veracruz, a meeting and a special performance for the Mayor of Xalapa and a concert in an open air chapel at the cathedral in Cuernavaca. The choir members stayed with host families in their homes during the part of the trip in Xalapa. Some of the choir members were so taken with their host families, that they did not want to leave prefering to “adopt” their new hosts. Choir member Brian Dinkel said, “My favorite part of the trip was the welcoming attitude of everyone we met.” Another special moment in Xalapa was a visit to the heart of Xalapa to view the sculpture know as “The O!”, which celebrates the sister city relationship between Omaha and Xalapa. The picture above is of the choir and Alejandro Mendez, the Assistant to the Mayor of Xalapa in front of The “O!”.
The last part of the tour was in Mexico City, where the choir toured the ancient city of Teotihuacan to explore the Pyramid of the Sun which is the third largest pyramid in the world and was built before 200 A.D. That evening they had a farewell dinner for the choir to celebrate a successful and fun trip. Choir member Brian Dinkel said, “My favorite part of the trip was the welcoming attitude of everyone we met.”
Dr. Matthew Harden said, “I was very proud of our students and how generous they were in giving their time, talents, and personal warmth. They were really great ambassadors for Omaha and UNO and formed many new friendships.” The only request that the students made after their Mexican visit was to return as soon as possible. For that reason it was decided that the UNO Chamber Choir would make another visit to Xalapa and various parts of Mexico in 2009.