Pioneer Band planning summer trip to Russia

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University’s Pioneer Band is making preparations for an invitation only trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg Russia, scheduled for May 6-15, 2006.

The Pioneer Band was invited by the International Fine Arts Institute and the Russian Ministry of Culture to perform as guests of the Russian Federation during the Victory Day Celebrations in Moscow, commemorating the end of World War II. Last year, the event brought world leaders from 50 countries into Moscow.

Tim Kelley, director of bands at Wayland, said the invitation is an official invitation from the Russian government. Victory Day is a celebration sponsored by the president of Russia and attracts heads of state from around the world. The invitations to represent the United States are given to only one university or college band as well as the U.S. Congressional Band each year.

The band will perform in several venues throughout Moscow, including Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Rachmaninoff Hall, Tchaikovsky Hall and other historical sites. In St. Petersburg, the band will perform at the Russian Officers Palace, Smolny Cathedral and the Capella Open Stage.

Kelley said the group will also work to develop ties with local Baptist affiliations and will perform at Baptist churches in the area.

Kelley is hoping the trip will provide students with unique opportunities to participate in cultural events in Russia, as well as further the cultural relationships between Russian and American schools of music.

The trip will cost approximately $2,400 per person, which includes airfare from Dallas, transportation in Russia, living accommodations and three meals a day. The band will host several fund raising events, including three marching festivals and a solo/ensemble contest. Band members will also solicit donations from friends, family and churches.

Anyone interested in donating to the trip may contact Mr. Kelley at 806-291-1063.