WCC can’t wait to welcome our good friends from Fulda, Germany this summer! Before the Orchestra arrives, we thought we should take some time to review our history with the Fulda Youth Orchestra. 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, with the support of then Mayor James M. Baker and then President of Cityfest, Inc., Tina Betz. 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.”
We built on those friendships and experiences in 2013, when we hosted members of the orchestra here at home. During this incredible Festival Week, we worked hard to learn challenging music by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bernstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others. The week culminated in a sold out concert at St. Helena’s Catholic Church.
Two years later, WCC traveled back to Fulda! 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.
This special tradition will only continue to grow. We are thrilled to reunite with old friends, and make new ones this summer!