GWO in Europe 2010, Day 13 – Salzburg

Posted on February 7th, 2010 by

Day 13

Day 13 of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra’s European Concert Tour begins with a departure from Vienna, the City of Mozart, to Salzburg, the Birthplace of Mozart, and ends with the tour’s final concert in Bad Ischl, a short drive east of the city.

When most Americans think of Salzburg, they think of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Driving

Salzburg Castle overlooking the City

Salzburg Castle overlooking the City

into the Alps, this is not difficult to understand. The mountains in Austria inspire music. On the way into the city, we drove past the church where the wedding was filmed. We did see the fountains, stairs and sculptures in the Mirabel Gardens where the children sang and danced and posed (and yes, some of us posed for photos). More importantly, we stood in the city center and saw the panorama of a city in the Alps filled with some of the most beautiful Baroque buildings, towers, churches and spires that we have seen on our tour. The Hohensalzburg Castle towers over the city. The Salzach River, fed by snow melt and running through the city center, is pristine. We walked past the house where Mozart was born and through the city’s monastery. We visited the city center and Dom Kirke at the heart of city where, four years ago, we were privileged to participate in the festivities of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. On that occasion, the bells of all 65 churches of the city, including the massive bells of the Dom Kirke, rang shortly after 8:00 p.m., the time of Mozart’s birth. It was an impressive and amazing aural experience.

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra on the shores of St. Wolfgang Lake, Bad Ischl, Austria

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra on the shores of St. Wolfgang Lake, Bad Ischl, Austria

After lunch, as we drove to Bad Ischl for the evening’s concert, we passed through spectacular landscapes and stopped at St. Wolfgang Lake for one of the most picturesque vistas of the entire tour. The beauty of that place was not lost on the members of the GWO and they carried it with them as they arrived at the Concert and Cultural Hall. The acoustics were nearly perfect for the final concert. Inspired by the beauty of Salzburg and Bad Ischl, the surrounding mountains, the opportunity to perform in a beautiful concert hall, and the emotion connected with the tour’s final concert, the wind orchestra responded with a beautiful and emotional performance that brought the Bad Ischl audience to its feet as the final note sounded. (Excerpts from SYMPHONY NO. 2)

The final work on the program, the encore, was the band’s traditional closer NEARER MY GOD TO THEE. (Concert and Tour Finale) Following the encore, the audience remained

Concert and Tour Finale, Bad Ischl, Austria

Concert and Tour Finale, Bad Ischl, Austria

on its feet, applauding with appreciation, until the last member of the ensemble left the stage. Two members of the audience stopped to talk with me as they left the hall. One was still in tears and wanted me to tell “every one of the students” how proud she was to be a musician and how happy she was to hear their music. She was so pleased to have these young musicians from America share their talents with Bad Ischl in the middle of the winter. “Please come back soon.”

As the wind orchestra assembled in the lower level of the concert hall to sing the REMEMBER song, there were tears and hugs. Some members were unable to sing. Others wondered what had just happened. They were struck by the finality of that last note until someone reminded them that there was still one more concert. It may be a week and thousands of miles from the Alpine beauty around us in Bad Ischl and Salzburg, but there was still one more concert.

Perhaps there will always be “one more concert.” The challenge is to take the beauty, inspiration and experiences of the past 14 days with us; to share it first with family and friends, and then on February 13, with the entire Gustavus family in Christ Chapel. This is also the beauty and the challenge of making the promise of an incredible life-changing experience. It becomes a part of who we are and will always remain with us. The members of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra can now fully appreciate what an ILCHE is. While they may not be able to put it into words, they understand that they have experienced something very special and they will be changed by it.

That is a very good thing. There is always another concert.

 

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