Archive for January, 2010
As the Gustavus Wind Orchestra enters the midpoint of it Central European Concert Tour, it is time for the ensemble to leave Krakow. What should have been an uneventful drive to Kety takes on new meaning as the ensemble is caught up in the 65th anniversary celebrations of liberation from Nazi Germany in the towns and villages throughout the region.
Nearly half-way into its 16-day concert tour in central Europe, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra and Conductor Douglas Nimmo travel to Krakow for its first-ever concert at St. Katherine's in the former capital of Poland, 26 January, 2010.
The sun is out but there appears to be no sunshine in this place. The fresh dusting of new snow and the hoarfrost coating the trees in the woods does not brighter the day as we approach the camp. A book that is a collection of poems and paintings written and illustrated by school-aged children in the Warsaw Ghetto is titled I DON’T SEE ANY BUTTERFLIES AROUND HERE. Auschwitz is such a place. It seems to discourage even the hope of natural beauty.
As Day Three dawns, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra's early wake-up call announces the day for departure from Prague and the Czech Republic and the journey into Poland. Along the way we stop for a visit to Hradec Kralove, considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Bohemia. Following a city tour and lunch, we leave the Czech Republic behind us.
Having been officially on tour for several days now, a routine is falling into place. Receiving wake up calls, traveling with a bus full of entertaining band mates, and going through the preparations for a concert are a part of everyday life on a tour with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra. By no means, however, is this routine predictable. In fact, it is just the opposite. We are in a routine of waking up and knowing that each day will likely be greeted with the unexpected, unfamiliar, and exciting discoveries and adventures to be had in Europe, such as crosswalks frequently without lights at busy intersections, narrow streets, and trying to convert liters, Celsius, military time, and various forms of currency.
On Day Two of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra's 2010 European Concert Tour, the members explore Prague's Hradcany Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and the Old Royal Place overlooking the Vltava River and the Old Town prior to the tour's first concert performance.
Day 1 From Cavafy’s Ithaca When you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge …. But do not hurry the voyage at all, (and you will arrive) rich with all that you have gained along the way. Day 1 began bright (well, maybe [...]
Having a chance to take a trip abroad doesn’t come around very often. Receiving the opportunity to travel with 73 other serious musicians and friends is even rarer. This year, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will travel to Europe, touring through the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and Germany.
A Chinese philosopher once wrote that the longest trip begins with the first step. For more than a week, after months of preparation by the students and Tour Manager Lisa Westphal, the 73-member Gustavus Wind Orchestra and conductor Douglas Nimmo have been in engaged in daily classes, intensive rehearsals, sectionals and private practice. They are [...]