WU Symphony Orchestra heading to Honduras

Fan Xinyu

In a few weeks, the Washburn Symphony Orchestra will set off for a concert tour to Honduras, making it the first orchestra to visit Honduras in 50 years.

The orchestra will give performances May 18-29 at some cathedrals and at the Theatre José Francisco Saybe. They plan to visit music schools and museums to experience the different culture. Also, the group will explore some cities, such as Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, and San Pedro Sula, the country’s industrial center.

“We are honored to be able to present music there,” said Norman Gamboa, the orchestra’s conductor. “Honduras is a country with very few music education programs, so we want to promote music education there.”

On the trip, the students will be able to see various landmarks. Yojoa Lake, Pulhapanzak Falls and TelaMar Beach Resort are all on their list of places to visit.

The main purpose of the concert tour is to enrich the students’ experiences and give them a chance to learn organization skills for a concert tour.

“Students should learn to respect other cultures,” said Gamboa. “This trip will broaden their cultural horizons.”

Some international students from Honduras generated the idea for the tour. Gamboa thought it would be a good idea for these students to present what they have learned in America to their own people.

Although participating in such program means lots of extra work and extra cost, members of the orchestra still think the trip is worth all their efforts.

“Definitely, it’s worthwhile,” said Amanda Mayo, a clarinet player in the orchestra. “I’m a music major. Even if I didn’t go on the tour, I still had to practice. Now it provides extra fun.”

Alex Wise, assistant conductor of this orchestra tour, also thought the trip was worth the effort.

“[It’s] a great opportunity to conduct internationally and a good resumé builder,” said Wise.

In order to gather more support for the trip, the group organized all sorts of activities for fundraising. By selling ice cream, playing concerts and sending letters, students raised money and were brought together.

“It was a good break,” said Wise. “There were so many of us and we shared a lot.”

The symphony orchestra gave its last performance before their departure at May 2 at White Concert Hall.