GWO Europe, 2010 : The Prelude Posted on January 14th, 2010 by

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 taking those first steps on an adventure that will take them on a 16-day, 6-country European concert tour journey that may very well be the most memorable of their young lives.

GWO Tour Professors Fienen, Emmert & Nimmo

GWO Tour Professors Fienen, Emmert & Nimmo

For now, the preparation continues. 8:30-10:00 class: history, politics, culture, economics, language and more with Professor of History, Thomas Emmert who writes “I hope you will cherish every minute of your great adventure!  Think about the centuries of history that have left their imprint and lasting legacy on this beautiful part of Europe.  Enjoy each country and its culture as a unique experience.”

The daily schedule continues after a break for Morning Chapel: 10:30-12:30 rehearsal, lunch,

Gustavus Wind Orchestra in Final Preparation

Gustavus Wind Orchestra in Final Preparation

2:00-4:30 with another rehearsal and sectional rehearsals as scheduled. view sectional rehearsal There is little time left in the day for the members to consider other important matters like what to take along, how to pack, how much money will be needed.

Oboist Anthony Cesnik of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, describes the greatest challenge for these two weeks: “Staying focused. The schedule is so intensive.” Antonio Herbert of Orlando, Florida, in his first year in the GWO’s flute section, noted “mental stamina” as his challenge. With days filled with rehearsals and private practice, this is not difficult to understand. From the rehearsal podium, conductor Douglas Nimmo challenges the ensemble in rehearsal to not accept “almost good enough.” The work done on these sections after rehearsal is essential as the ensemble moves forward into its final week of preparation for the tour.

Tour Talk Q&A with Nimmo & Officers

Tour Talk Q&A with Nimmo & Officers

An essential component of the tour prep is “Tour Talk,” a traditional session dealing with the nuts and bolts of the tour. It brings the entire entourage together for a Tuesday evening; musicians, conductor, Manager Lisa Westphal, Organist David Fienen and Fine Arts Director Al Behrends. Following discussion of the duty roster and behavior expectations, Tour Talk focuses on questions from the ensemble and day-to-day routines for the tour. The session lasts until all questions are answered.

The stage is nearly set and the first steps on this “great adventure”  have been taken. In a few days, the adventure will take flight. The journey may begin with that first step, the Prelude. The next step, the one from Minneapolis to Prague, is much, much larger.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra
Douglas Nimmo, conductor
2010 Concert Tour Itinerary

Thursday, January 21, 2010 –Prague, Czech Republic
Friday, January 22, 2010– Prague, Czech Republic
Afternoon concert at Church of St. Simon & Juda
Saturday, January 23, 2010– Hradec Králov/Wroclaw, Poland
Sunday January 24, 2010– Wroclaw, Poland
Evening concert at Sala Koncertowa Radia Wroclaw
Monday, January 25, 2010– Auschwitz/Krakow, Poland
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 –Krakow, Poland
Evening concert at St. Katherine’s Church
Wednesday, January 27, 2010– Kety, Poland
Thursday, January 28, 2010– Kety, Poland
Evening concert at Parafia Najswietszego Serca
Friday January 29, 2010- Pomaz, Hungary
Saturday January 30, 2010– Pomaz, Hungary
Exchange with a local music school
followed by an evening concert
Sunday January 31, 2010 –Eisenstadt / Vienna, Austria
Monday February 1, 2010– Vienna, Austria
Afternoon concert L’Orangerie at Schonbrunn Palace
Tuesday, February 2, 2010–Salzburg, Austria
Evening concert at Bad Ischl Kongress & Theaterhaus
Wednesday, February 3, 2010–Munich, Germany
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 2:00 p.m.
Home concert in Christ Chapel



  1. Patrick & Jean Mahowald says:

    To: GWO, Have a great trip playing your music in these esteemed places in Europe! We look forward to reading an occasional BLOG experience, and hearing your concert live in Minnesota on Feb 13th! Pat & Jean

  2. Steve and Lisa Doolittle says:

    Fair winds and following seas, gang. Good luck, have fun, show those Europeans that Americans CAN play classical music. Most of all, have fun. We look forward to your safe return, and the concert in St. Peter!

  3. Terry Bauer says:

    I know you will wow them with your talent and enthusiasm. In fact, we can have no better representation of Gustavus and America than the GWO!
    Enjoy the journey, absorb the history, and share your talents.
    We are all praying that you have a safe and success tour.