Posted by: Abby Rhodes | March 21, 2010

Brazil tour wraps, offering intangible souvenirs

WIU Wind Ensemble pose for their last group picture at Rio de Janeiro Jardim Botânico

Most of the time, Atlanta, Georgia, feels nice and warm to Illinoisans.  Around 7:30 this morning, though, Atlanta felt downright cold to members of the WIU Wind Ensemble returning stateside after a week-long tour in Brazil.  Just twelve hours earlier, the students and staff were donning swimsuits, shorts, and tank tops, soaking up the rays on Copacabana or Ipanema beaches or shopping for last-minute souvenirs.

Summer is fading into autumn in Rio de Janeiro, and back home in Macomb, winter is all too slowly staggering into spring.  The season of birth and renewal is near, however, and the band members are ushering it in with dramatic personal growth.  Their week-long  tour through Salvador and Rio has left indelible marks, whether they be musical, cultural, or interpersonal, on each and every member of the group.

Many returned to the U.S. wearing Brazilian t-shirts, pants, or bracelets, small reminders of Brazil compared to the memories these musicians will carry forever.  The tour has ended, but many of the lessons learned and connections established in Brazil are sure to last a lifetime.  They’re the best kind of souvenirs.

The video below highlights some trip reflections, and ends with an example of how most of us spent the last leg of a terrific journey.



  1. Thank you for all the great pictures, videos and blogs. It was exciting to see all the different places that the group got to visit and perform at. What a wonderful experience for all. This blog site was such a good idea.

    Thanks again. Rachel’s mom and dad.

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