The UMW Philarmonic’s touring program was established in 2006 as a means to offer international and cultural opportunities for our student and community musicians. Tours are voluntary and take place during academic breaks.
The purpose of the program is: (1) to expand the scope of music learning through international experiences, (2) to provide our musicians with a valuable cultural exchange opportunity by performing with groups from other countries, (3) to showcase to the international community the superb capabilities of our orchestra, and (4) to serve as a cultural ambassador representing the state, region, and country.
The first tour was to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic in the Spring of 2006. This tour coincided with the 250th birthday celebration of Wolfgang Mozart and mirrored his travels as a child prodigy. The group performed a special concert in Vienna which was attended by the UMW President’s Tour club.
The second tour took the Philharmonic to England and France in May 2008, where we shared two concerts with a Parisian choir. Beginning in London, the orchestra traveled to Oxford and the English countryside, and then to Dover and through the chunnel to France. The final concert of this tour was memorable because it took place in downtown Paris, at Le Madeleine, the historic cathedral which was the home of 19th-century composer Gabriel Faure’. In Le Madeleine, the orchestra performed Faure’s Requiem Mass-with a Parisian choir, to a capacity crowd in the cathedral. As the final chords drew to a quiet close, the audience remained still for a moment- then gave the performers one of the lengthiest standing ovations they have ever received.
In 2011/12, the Philarmonic toured Italy during the Christmas season. Departing the day after Christmas, the group toured Venice, Florence, and Rome for 10 days. Highlights of that tour included a final concert in downtown Rome, a tour of St. Peters and the Sistine Chapel, a boat ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, and demands for encores at every performance stop!
Links to past tour photo albums: