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2013.05.22 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Jazz Combo Helps Celebrate 15 Year Partnership with Lithuania

Omaha - It is often said that music is an international language and members of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Jazz Combo certainly proved the saying to be true during a weeklong tour of Lithuania and Latvia earlier this month.

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of UNO’s relationship with Siauliai (Sho-lay) University as a sister university, the six-student combo performed across the Baltic for university representatives, local musicians and government dignitaries.

* A video of one of the band's performances can be found at this YouTube link. *

UNO’s partnership with Siauliai University was formed in March 1998 and has led to the exchange of 800 students, faculty and staff between the two institutions.

In addition to musical exchanges like the one from earlier this month, executive MBA students from UNO have assisted businesses in Siauliai become more successful and professors from Siauliai have come to UNO to study English as a second language. This month’s visit also focused on future collaborations in the areas of public administration and special education.

Students on this month’s tour included Sophomore Blake DeForest (trumpet), Sophomore Jason Moore-Smith (saxophone), Freshman Ben Tweedt (piano), Senior Garett Williams (bass), Sophomore Nate Van Fleet (drums) and Freshman Zac Pollett (percussion). They were joined by Pete Madsen, professor of music; BJ Reed, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs; Tom Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs; Merry Ellen Turner, director of international programs; Ethel Williams, director of the School of Public Administration; and D. Scott Glasser, professor of theatre.

While touring, the UNO Jazz Combo impressed their crowds with renditions of “I Feel Good” by James Brown, “Route 66” by Bobby Troup and “Amigos Para Siempre,” which was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The combo also performed with members of Siauliai University’s chorus, a Lithuanian folk-rock ensemble and some of the best jazz musicians Latvia.

The UNO tour also included visiting the famous Hill of Crosses outside of Siauliai, a friendly basketball game between the two universities and a yacht tour of the Baltic.

Members of Siauliai University last came to UNO in October.

For questions about UNO’s sister-university partnership contact Shane Pekny at spekny@unomaha.edu. For media inquiries contact Charley Reed at 402.554.2129 or cdreed@unomaha.edu.


Members of UNO's Jazz Combo perform in Lithuania
Photo by Pete Madsen

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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