DeKalb Youth Symphony Orchestra
Concert Tour of the Baltics:
Latvia, Estonia, and Finland
Riga 1 PhotosRiga_1_Photos.html

DYS launches their concert tour of the Baltics by flying out of Atlanta to Frankfurt, Germany. Then a brief layover before flying on to Riga. We checked into our hotel rooms and hiked across the Stone Bridge into the Old Quarter of Riga and explore.

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On our second day, we are taken on a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter of Riga.

We learn about the history and architecture of this grand city, famed for its culture.

We divide into smaller groups for lunch and an afternoon shopping. We rejoin for dinner and enjoy an evening concert.

Riga 3a PhotosRiga_3a_Photos.html

Our third day in Riga saw us driving into the Latvian countryside to visit Rundale Castle.

A quick lunch back in Riga and it’s off to rehearsal in St. Peters Church. The concert later that evening went very well with a large and enthusiastic audience. Finally, a delicious supper and birthday at Steakhouse Dome.

3a = Sony Camcorder while 3b= iPhone 5s.

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The Road to 
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Today we transitioned from Riga, Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia with some adventures along the way. Our first stop was Turaidas Castle. Very Medieval! Ask one of the kids about the story of Turaidas Rose. Then lunch at Raganas Kekis, the Witch’s Kitchen. A quick stop at the beach on the Gulf of Riga and finally dinner at our new hotel, the Park Inn.

The Road to 
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Tallinn Sony PhotosTallinn_Sony.html
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A very great and busy day for us. Looking over the pictures I’m amazed at all we did.

Morning started with a guided tour of the Old City of Tallinn. Then we split into smaller groups to explore the city, shop and find lunch. Rehearsal and concert at the original Hall of the Blackheads was followed by dinner at Maikrahv. A very fun day!

Helsinki 1
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Helsinki 1
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Early in the morning we went to the harbor in Tallinn to take the ferry to Finland. This was quite fast and fun since it was a hydrofoil. Upon arrival we got out at the square and went exploring. From there we took a tour of the city, including a visit to the Rock Church (where there was a concert in progress) and the Sibelius monument. A very nice student of the Sibelius Academy gave us a personalized tour of the concert hall and facilities. And finally, we ended the day with a nice buffet dinner in a pleasant restaurant.

Helsinki 2
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Helsinki 2
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Sadly, the final day had arrived. We started with the traditional, natural beauty of the Ainola, the home of Jean Sibelius. This was followed by the modern construction of the Kokkonen Villa where we enjoyed a moving performance by the resident musicians, pianist Elina Viitaila and baritone Antti Pesonen.

We returned to Helsinki and split into groups for lunch. The directors were fortunate to share rare specialties with their Finnish cousins who had arrived to visit. They joined us for the rehearsal and concert at the Rock Church.

A strong performance was completed with a tasty supper at a high class restaurant.