Hej kompisar! (Hello Friends!) Posted on January 30th, 2018 by

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra performing its first concert at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden.

By Natalie Johnson ’21

I’m a first year oboe music major from Maywood, Ill. partaking in GWO’s adventure to Sweden and Norway! So far, tour has been an absolute blast. We had our first concert on Saturday night at the beautiful Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. It was an unreal and overwhelmingly wonderful experience. The weeks prior to tour, we rehearsed for many, many hours every single day, while simultaneously learning about Swedish culture and history with our hero, Professor of Scandinavian Studies, Glenn Kranking. Every member of the band and staff exerted an abundant amount of time, energy, and dedication to helping us perform to the best of our abilities, and our first concert helped us realize the extraordinary value of our efforts.

I was really excited leading up to this tour, but our arrival at the concert space in Stockholm was when it actually hit me. Since September we’ve been getting excited for tour, but it didn’t feel real. Not until I was sitting up on stage with my oboe in hand, some of my favorite people in the world seated around me, performing incredible, diverse and stunning music did I realize: we were 4,305 miles away from St Peter, Minn., actually in Sweden. Many tears were shed when it was over, even by one of our conductors (whose initials may or may not be “JPM”), and hugs abounded. Experiencing “The Remember Song” for the first time after our first tour concert was incredibly moving, and knowing that I’m lucky enough to be a part of this group for three more years is a blessing that I never could have imagined a year ago. Here’s to spreading music across the world!



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