In June of 2020, 47 members of the WWU Symphony Orchestra will embark on a six-day, eight-night performance tour of the musical capitals of Prague and Vienna, culminating in a festival performance in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, one of the world's most hallowed concert halls, in celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday. For a young musician to perform on a stage shared by such luminaries as Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler is the opportunity of a lifetime. The Orchestra will also give concerts in Prague at a venue to be determined, and at Vienna's Minoritenkirche (completed in 1350; the body of Metastasio—librettist for many of Mozart's operas—is buried there).
In addition to giving performances, Western's student musicians will spend time exploring many priceless cultural and historical landmarks, including the Terezín concentration camp, Vienna's Imperial Palace, and a number of sites frequented by Beethoven and other classical masters.
The Western Symphony Orchestra has engaged with Music Celebrations International to manage all logistical components of the tour, including ground transportation, housing, most meals, concert arrangements, and visits to cultural landmarks and museums. MCI has a sterling reputation and decades of experience in managing international travel for academic and professional ensembles.
Costs for this once-in-a-lifetime tour are calculated on a per-student basis, and amount to $2,452 for each participant. That amounts to $155,244 for 47 students (the maximum our ground transportation will allow). Our goal is to limit the financial responsibilities of our students to no more than $800 each, which leaves $77,644 to be raised. Airfare is not included in these costs, as discussions are underway with several airlines to get seats donated.
Monday, June 22, 2020
- Depart to Prague, Czech Republic
Tuesday, June 23 – Prague / Terezín
- Arrive in Prague
- Excursion to Terezín (former fortress and Nazi Concentration Camp for children), including entrance to the fortress and Museum of the Ghetto.
- Continue to Prague with a panoramic tour of the city upon arrival
Wednesday, June 24 – Prague
- Morning guided tour of Prague
- Afternoon Rehearsal
- Performance as part of the American Celebration of Music in Czech Republic
Thursday, June 25 – Vienna
- Morning transfer to Vienna
- Stop at the Vienna City Cemetery to visit the graves of Beethoven, Strauss, Brahms, Schubert and the Mozart Memorial
- Take a short panoramic tour of Vienna that acquaints visitors with the main attractions and landmarks
Friday, June 26 – Vienna
- Half-day guided tour of Historical Vienna includes the Ringstráße, Imperial Palace, State Opera, Town Hall, Burgkapelle (home of the Vienna Boys Choir), Palace Stables, Strauß Monument, and entrance to Schönbrunn Palace
- Afternoon guided tour of Musical Vienna includes entrance to the Haus der Musik and a visit to the Beethoven Heiligenstadt apartment
- Performance at Minoritenkirche as part of the American Celebration of Music in Austria
Saturday, June 27 – Vienna
- Rehearsal in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein
- Excursion to Kahlenberg to walk the “Beethoven trail” (a route he often walked), and visit the Vienna woods
- Visit to the Pasqualati House and Museum
Sunday, June 28 – Vienna
Monday, June 29