As the Wind Symphony said goodbye to Germany, their first concert in Holland was a wonderful success. The group shared the stage with another wind band named Orkest Orventus that is from Holland and consists of professional musicians. The joint performance called “Hands Across The Sea,” was an event held as part of the Liberation Celebration in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. It was an honor to be a part of this highly revered celebration in Holland.
Other concerts for the week were in Zwolle and Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gent, Belgium; and Lille, France. In all of these performances the audience gave the Wind Symphony multiple standing ovations and called for two encores. In two cities the audience loved the performance so much they called for three encores.
While the group was in Zwolle, the public affairs directors for the stake arranged for the largest radio station in the area to bring their live, drive-time radio show to visit the rehearsal of the BYU Wind Symphony. This included an interview with one of the students, the public affairs director, and the soloist from the Netherlands who joined the group for the evening. Several attendees from the audience that night remarked that they came to the concert specifically because they heard the group play on the radio show.
On an educational and cultural front, the group visited Kinderdijk, an area with many still-working windmills, and the tulip fields in Holland. A highlight stop was the visit to the medieval city of Brugge in Belgium. Many in the group wished they could have spent the entire day there.
A musical highlight came when the group was allowed to attend a rehearsal of the Rotterdam Symphony. The BYU Wind Symphony’s performance was later that night, in a smaller hall of the same building where the Rotterdam Symphony played. A visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam allowed the students to see paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and others that they have studied during their Humanities classes at BYU.
All throughout the tour, the group paid special attention to meeting with the young single adults in the cities they visited. This last week these interactive evenings were hosted in The Hague, Brussels, and Lille. During the event in The Hague, one leader of the young single adults remarked how important and timely it was that the group be there when they were. Just the week before one of the young single adults had stepped in front of a train and was killed. The leader remarked about how the young single adults had been affected by the accident, and that it was wonderful that they were smiling and having fun interacting with the BYU Wind Symphony.
The tour ended on a very high note with the young single adults from Lille and the BYU Wind Symphony attending church together followed by a lunch, a few get to know you activities, music, and testimonies from both the French young single adults and the BYU students.
As the bus pulled away from the Church, both the YSA’s from Lille and the BYU students waved enthusiastically through smiles and tears, having become friends in an afternoon. This moment of lingering and waving as the bus slowly pulled away was repeated each time the young single adults from an area and the BYU students got together to share an evening.
The BYU Wind Symphony returned home tired but satisfied with another great tour, which was for many, a once in a lifetime experience.
Source: Performing Arts Management