University School of Milwaukee was honored to host the Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra for three days this past week, as part of an international cultural exchange. Fifty members of the orchestra traveled from Germany to the United States, making stops in Michigan, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Naperville, Illinois.
While here, the orchestra participated in home stays with members of the USM community and toured popular destinations in Milwaukee, including a behind-the-scenes visit to the Bradley Symphony Center and the opportunity to meet conductor Ken-David Masur.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the orchestra performed Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor, op. 85” and Antonín Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 8 in G major, op. 88.” The concert, held at USM, was free and open to the public. Prior to the performance, USM’s head of school, Steve Hancock, facilitated a discussion about each piece with invited guests, including the history behind both composers and elements of the works that are noteworthy and unique.
“It was a joy to host the orchestra and we were delighted by their enthusiastic concert performance,” said Stephanie Hancock, Middle School band teacher. “It is opportunities like this that remind us that music crosses all borders and truly brings people together.”
Many thanks to Stephanie Hancock and USM’s Fine Arts department for organizing and coordinating the trip, as well as the many school families who hosted members of the orchestra in their homes.