Dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through the universal language of the arts, the Blue Lake International Exchange Program began in 1969, and since then, over 15,000 high school musicians have been hosted in 900 European communities while nearly 10,000 members of European bands, orchestras, choirs and other groups have toured communities throughout the Midwest.
The GHO Symphonic Band from Heide, Germany, is the eighth Blue Lake International Touring Exchange group to be sponsored by the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band since 2008. Hailing from the Schleswig-Holstein province of northern Germany, the group includes 54 youth ages 13-19 and 5 adult staff/instructors, for a total of 59 guests.
As in past years, we will be assisted by Holy Family Congregation, FdL Music Parents and the FdL Children’s Chorale to organize and host the visit. This year we have added to our team the Fond du Lac High School Summer Band, with whom the visitors will have a joint rehearsal, concert and social time.
In addition to public performances, the local Blue Lake Committee is arranging in-home hosting that provides European guests with an authentic sampling of everyday American life. Accommodations need not be fancy, but rather representative of average American living. Households that volunteer to host are asked to provide transportation, sleeping accommodations, some meals and a friendly welcome for their house guests.
Families that have hosted in the past will vouch for how well-mannered their guests were, and how exciting it was to be involved in their Fond du Lac stay. While several families have signed up again this year, there is still a need for many additional host families for our visitors from Germany.
To volunteer for hosting or for more information, use the form GHO flier itinerary or contact Symphonic Band Manager Mary Arthur at 579-1535, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.