The WCC is excited to announce their plans to return to Fulda, Germany in the summer of 2019!
Learn more about our history of exchange below.
“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 Wilmington Children’s Chorus is gearing up for an exciting and immersive cultural exchange taking place in the summer of 2019. “Our high-school aged chorsiters are excited to reconnect with old friends in Fulda, Germany, and meet new friends throughout a week long cultural exchange with the Kammerorchester der Jugend Fulda.” Kimberly Doucette commented. “We are honored to continue our tradition of exchange with the 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. 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. 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.
Two years later, in the summer of 2017, the Kammerorchester traveled to Wilmington for the second time. The choir and orchestra spend a busy week preparing for the final concert, featuring works by Mendelssohn, Buxtehude, and Elgar. They still found time to travel to Washington, D.C. and tour the Capitol building, and travel to Rehoboth, DE for a day of fun and sun on the beach. The exchange ended with a concert at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin, DE. The choir is excited to announce their plans to travel to Fulda, Germany again in the summer of the 2019!