Hello from the other side of the world!

Posted on January 29th, 2018 by

GWO in front of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden.

By Emily Komperud ’18
Gustavus Wind Orchestra President

It’s been a whirlwind of a couple of days but every second has been an ILCE (incredible, life-changing experience). What have we been doing? I’m glad you asked.

The plane was lucky enough to catch the view of the northern lights. I am told by those who stayed awake on the flight that it was truly spectacular. 

Saturday was a true tourist’s dream. The day started with a tour of the Vasa Museum where we visited the namesake of our beloved renamed Vasa Wind Orchestra. Honestly, the more I learned about that historic mistake the more I found the whole thing comical. If you ever find yourself in Stockholm, I highly recommend this great museum.

From the Vasa Museum, we took a bus tour of the historic Old Town as we made our way toward the Nobel Museum. This was another incredible insight into the origins of the famed awards. Being able to see the winners’ additions to the museum gave a snapshot of their work as well as who they were as people.

The Royal Palace was also quite a sight. Subtlety was not a word that the designers thought of while reconstructing the palace after the fire. We were lucky enough to be greeted by Gustavus Board Member, Jan Lindman, who is the Treasurer to Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf. Meeting Gusties thousands of miles from home, especially someone as warm and welcoming as Jan, is always a treat.

We have been spoiled by the hotels and the dinners we have received every night. Each came complete with multiple courses and a great ambiance. I can’t begin to describe the beauty of the plating and taste of every meal.

The main difference from the States is the thoughtfulness that the Nordic region has for the environment. With the focus on preservation and properly removing waste, Sweden has become a leader in the environmental protection. What is incredible is that they are able to support health care, transportation, and so much more through their appreciation and willingness to pay taxes. Scandinavia has the highest tax rate in the free world.

The concerts have been amazing (more on that coming soon…) and I am proud to consider myself a leader of these great players and people. I can’t wait until we reach our next destination and get ready for tonight’s concert. Until then, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the view to Falun. It looks like Minnesota but better.



  1. Al Behrends says:

    Thanks Emily, have a great time in Falun. It’s one of my favorite places in Sweden. Please work as hard as you can to keep JPM in place. I’m sorry I can’t be with you to take care of that myself! Hi to everyone, make us proud!

  2. Al Behrends says:

    Thanks Emily, it’s great news to hear that everything is going so well. Enjoy every minute. Al