WCC is excited to welcome our friends from the Fulda Youth Orchestra in the summer of 2017!
“Today’s global challenges demand international competence. Americans who study abroad, engage in experiential learning, or study foreign areas and languages are far better prepared for the demands of the twenty-first century. By numbers ranging from 77 percent to more than 90 percent, Americans believe that it is important for their children to learn other languages, study abroad, and learn about other countries and cultures.” — 2007 national survey, Lake Research Partners & Tarrance Group.
Through a special project with Sister Cities of Wilmington, the Wilmington Children’s Chorus engages in musical collaborations and immersive cultural experiences with youth from Wilmington’s sister cities.
The seeds of this special collaboration were planted in August of 2011 when the WCC conducted its first cultural exchange to Wilmington’s Sister Cities of Fulda, Germany and Nemours, France. This exchange was facilitated by Tina Betz, then President of Cityfest, after she visited Fulda as a member of Mayor James M. Baker’s delegation. Together with Sister Cities and WCC staff, Ms. Betz helped develop a relationship between the Youth Chamber Orchestra of Fulda, Germany and the WCC. The members of the Fulda Youth Orchestra work diligently to uphold the highest standards of musical performance. The organization is widely recognized in the Fulda region for their commitment to musical education. In the same vein, the WCC has established a reputation for excellence and opportunity for young people of the Wilmington region.
The success of that exchange marked the beginning of a long-term effort to regularly expose the youth of Wilmington to the global community while serving as representatives of the best that the city has to offer. “Many choirs tour, but this kind of cultural exchange goes a step further,” explains WCC’s Artistic Director Kimberly Doucette. “By connecting with like-minded ensembles from Wilmington’s sister cities, sharing their homes, and making music together, we are not just making art; we’re fostering lasting friendships and creating experiences that will make our choristers more confident in today’s world.”
In the summer of 2013, the Wilmington Children’s Chorus hosted 32 members of the Youth Chamber Orchestra from Fulda, Germany. A week of musical collaboration and homestay experiences kicked off with a welcome event and gala reception at the Delaware Art Museum. The festival week culminated in a sold out public concert with over 700 attendees at St. Helena’s Catholic Church. Selections included German and American masterworks by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bernstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and others.
In 2015, WCC returned to Fulda, Germany to collaborate with the Youth Chamber Orchestra. 47 of our high school aged members stayed with host families and members of the orchestra, for a true immersion experience. Over a week of activities, rehearsals, and bonding with our German friends culminated in a standing room only concert at the Klosterkirche am Frauenberg, a Baroque church located on a site dating back to the Middle Ages. The concert selections featured works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Fauré, and other classical composers. From Fulda, the WCC left for Leipzig, Germany and a short performance at St. Thomas Church. This location is well known as the church where Johann Sebastian Bach worked for many years, and is home to his grave. The choir then traveled to Prague, Czech Republic. They concluded their tour after several days of sight seeing and many impromptu concerts at historical sites.